BM, Ithaca College, Music Performance in Classical Guitar
I'm a driven music teacher with an unending curiousity and love of the musical mind. I graduated Ithaca College with a B.A. in music performance specializing in classical guitar. Originally from Boston, I moved to NYC in the summer of 2011 to pursue teaching and playing music professionally. Since then, I've acquired a decent roster of students and have been gigging fairly regularly with a number of different projects. I started playing piano at an early age and from there I've tried to keep the learning process going. While I'm mostly a guitar player, I'm also proficient on piano, banjo, mandolin, and ukulele.
I've been teaching in the NYC area for the past 5+ years and during that time I've developed my pedagogy as well as my playing. I always am sure to point out the simple rule. During our lesson I am showing you how to play, the real work is done on their own time. I tell them that 15 minutes every day is better than an hour 1 day a week. Playing every day ensures that the material is always fresh in their head and they don't lose interest. While I mainly focus on one-on-one lessons, I've also taught in classroom settings, afterschool programs, and I currently teach Banjo classes at The Jalopy in Brooklyn.
I use guitar tablature as the main method for music reading. I've found its the simplest and quickest way to get the student playing melodies and songs on the first day. After a quick crash course in how to read tablature, we shift into how reading it will translate to playing so that the student gains the practical application of tablature. With kids, starting off with nursery rhyme melodies is the easiest way to have them recognize melodies they are playing themselves. Whereas with adults, I've found that starting off with a simple chord progression from a widely popular song (e.g. Yellow Submarine by The Beatles), ensures they can relate to what they're playing especially when I sing over there chords.
I always try to make our lessons less like a lecture and more like a jam session. When analyzing a piece of music, I strive to relay the importance of knowing exactly what you're playing. Through this, the student gains a deeper appreciate for the piece and music in general, as opposed to just cycling through a chord progression. Most lessons consist of 1/3 technique and scales, and 2/3 repertoire. I always make sure to ask the students about what they like to listen to most because that will dictate which songs we learn during our lessons to make it more fun and relatable for them.