Gift Certificates Available. SHOP NOW!
Cornell University, BA, Music Theory, Composition & Arranging
2015 - Invited to perform at the Stellar Awards Independent Artist Showcase - original song "You Are Holy"
I have loved music ever since childhood. I come from a musical performance family and have been blessed with the ability to play various instruments as well as sing. During my teen years I performed in a singing group that was the opening act for many major recording artist of the day. I also began doing session work in the studio performing on guitar, keyboards and vocals; ultimately I learned to work 'behind the scenes' alongside the engineers and learning about music production.
My formal education in music started in high school ... later ... I won a scholarship to attend Cornell University (1973) where I was admitted to the music department where I studied keyboards, operatic voice, music theory, arranging, orchestral scoring and conducting. While receiving Classical training at the university, I also lead a 12-piece band ... performing jazz and r&b around upstate New York and surrounding areas. After college I arrived in the DC metropolitan area where I have performed on many stages ... both with an accompaniment band and solo ... opening up for artists such as Steve Oliver, Nick Colionne, Jeffrey Osborne, Joyce Cooling and others. My work today consists primarily of solo performances, recording original and cover songs in my home studio for release on the web and sales, and instructing others with ambitions and a passion for music!
I have been teaching students since the mid 1970's and have found a few key ingredients. First ... I need to be engaged as a representative of the craft ... excited about music and ... most importantly ... excited about the fact that the student is about to take on this new and / or continuing endeavor! If the student feels that you are genuinely there for them, a 'comfort zone' is created for the student ... now there is an environment in which much production can be achieved ... and the student will be able to thrive! Music theory is very important ... because this will help the student begin to see 'patterns' in their playing, hearing and education of how songs progress through changes, chord progressions, etc. This is most important because students also need to work on music that they hear and love everyday ... particularly consisting of modern and / or pop music. A state of euphoria can be achieved once a student begins to play something that they really love to listen to ... so I always encourage learning to read and play music ... as well as just listening to something and trying to 'pick it out' for fun! Fun is key to the learning process ... and I always try to make it fun for youngsters and adults alike!
For beginner that are children ... I use "Excellence in Theory" by Ryan Nowlin & Bruce Pearson ... to cover music theory and ear training. After completion of this work I move the student to Bela Bartok's MikroCosmos Volume 1 or other available method books. I also come up with materials of my own from time to time ... each student is different ... so I take the approach of learning the student as I work with them ... with the idea that I will tailor the education to work best for the student!
Adult students I have taught typically want to learn to do two things: 1) accompany themselves on an instrument while singing a popular song or 2) learn to play with others ... whether that be a jam session during a jazz set ... or playing behind someone else that is singing or playing a lead instrument. For these adult learners I lean toward teaching chords, arpeggios and scales.
Important: I suggest that a student only practice 15 to 20 minutes a day ... whatever amount of time it takes to cover the lesson. This helps to prevent 'burn-out' for the student. Also ... I suggest ... once the student reaches a level of proficiency ... to play things that they like or enjoy to listen to ... outside of the lesson. Applying what you learn to the music you hear everyday creates an exciting stimulation for the student ... keeping the desire and appetite for more music education moving forward!
It is a wonderful experience to see a student begin to flourish and grow into the music! I have found that music for young and old can be just the stimulus required to empower someone ... build confidence ... and enrich their lives unlike most other endeavors. Music is something that you can internalize and bring forth in totally new ways ... making it a new creation of your own! I encourage expression for those students that reach a level to do so ... but along the way and from the beginning I encourage students to take their time on a lesson ... goes as slow as it takes to get better at the challenge. By tailoring the lesson to each student ... I can promote 'predictable' progress in the student. I believe that all students should be applauded for effort ... even when that effort does not always produce the desired outcome. Encouragement received and accepted by the student will go a long way toward producing the desired results in the long run!
Select all the days/times the student would be available to start lessons. Selecting "3pm - 7pm" means the student can start as early as 3pm or start as late as 7pm. It is important that you select as many days and the widest window of start times for each day as possible. That will help us make a match with one of our teachers.Ok
Are you sure that's your only availability? The more availability you easier it will be to arrange a teacher for you.