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MM, Longy School of Music of Bard College, Modern American Music - Guitar Performance BM, University of New Hampshire, Music Education
I'm a private teacher and actively performing guitarist, playing in award-winning groups that have shared the stage with national acts like Houndmouth and Boyd Tinsley of Dave Matthews Band. As an instructor, I've been teaching for 10+ years across multiple genres to students ages 5-75. My Bachelor's degree in Music Education gives me insight on how to cater to a student's individual learning style and to create a solidly stratified curriculum. However, my Master's degree in Modern American Music Performance gives me a unique perspective into approaching learning from a variety of angles. The demands of playing contemporary music present me with many challenges and forces me to rely on intuition and creativity to play it correctly; I bring this sense of creativity and acceptance to my lessons and help solve my students' problems in ways that are best for them.
I began teaching private and group public school lessons in my later high school years; from there I decided that a career in teaching and performance was my calling. During college, I continued teaching private lessons and received the opportunity to teach general music for half a year in a K-8 public school. One of the highlights from my time there was leading a group of 8th graders in forming their own contemporary classical ensemble, composing their own music, going to a professional studio and recording themselves, planning and scheduling a concert, and performing their original music live in front of their peers.
For all my students, my lessons focus on three key areas of playing: technique, fluency, and repertoire. Technique includes warmup exercises, chord vocabulary, and scales among other areas. Fluency includes some form of reading music and is catered to the goals of the student. Whether it be traditional sheet music, guitar tab, lead sheets or otherwise, we will develop skills in reading music that is relevant to a student's area of interest. Repertoire includes any songs or pieces that students are interested in learning and will be arranged to scaffold their current skill level. My teaching also places a special emphasis in improvisation - since much of modern guitar music is written from a place of improvisation and involves improvising, I believe it is a vital skill for students to have. Even a beginning understanding of improvising will give students a fresh new perspective on the music they enjoy and will give them the skills to play with any musician they may meet.
For me, the main goal of my lessons is for my students to develop a real love of music. To me it matters not if a student plays music as a hobby or intends for it to be a profession - what is most important is that they're meeting goals they have set for themselves and are having fun doing so. Although my lessons have a clear structure to them, I always make sure that the content of these lessons are interesting and exciting for each student. My lessons and teaching style are also structured in such a way to encourage my students to be autodidacts. I want my students to be able to walk away from our lessons with the confidence that they can continue learning during the week and can tackle any song with the process that I teach them. Our lessons will be a chance to fine-tune those skills and processes.
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