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BA, Sonoma State University, Music
Vocal scholarships throughout college BA Cum Laude
1986 Award for outstanding Jazz vocal performance from NAJE (National Association of Jazz Educators)
1990-2003 Stage Director for 36 operas
1990-2000 Resident Stage Director of the Bear Valley Music Festival
1990-2003 Tenor for The Limeliters
2003-2005 Tenor with Glenn Yarbrough and the Folk Reunion
2005-2017 Tenor with The Kingston Trio
2018 Published guitar manual "Sounding Good on One Guitar"
I have always loved music and have sung many kinds of music throughout my life from choral and musical theater to folk, jazz, and even opera. I learned to play several instruments along the way but came to playing guitar as my primary instrument because of its versatility and portability. My clear tenor voice led to my becoming a member of two nationally known folk groups that toured the U.S. and Japan. My eye for staging led to my directing 36 operas for community opera companies in the Bay Area and being the director of the Bear Valley Music Festival for ten years. I have written many songs and arranged for vocal groups and jazz ensembles over the years.
I have taught guitar throughout my career, working with beginners through advanced students, teaching both finger-style and flatpick techniques as well as why the chords fit together (music theory). I like to teach lessons that move step-by-step, with each lesson building on the one before, so that the student can see the improvement as they move ahead. I recently published the guitar instruction manual "Sounding Good on One Guitar". In college my singing won scholarships and awards where I helped singers develop character for their roles in opera productions. After graduating I was hired by many of the local opera companies as well as being appointed stage director of the Bear Valley Music Festival where I worked for ten years. I have been a member of two nationally known folk groups, touring the U.S. and Japan since 1990. Over the years I have taught private lessons and given vocal workshops at schools, for organizations and at music festivals.
For voice, I like to start with making sure the placement is good and that the tone begin produced is nice and full. After that working on moving smoothly though notes while keeping the voice aligned, handling vowels and consonants, and gradually extending range. Repertoire is used to help support the lessons and gradually increases with the ability of the student.
For guitar, in either the styles that use a flatpick or the finger-styles, I like to build a library of chords and progressions linked to an understanding of keys and scales (music theory). I like to teach lessons that move step-by-step, with each lesson building on the one before, so that the student can see the improvement as they move ahead. If they are children beginners, they can begin with simple chords, a strum and a C scale. Over time more chords, fuller strumming rhythms and understanding how chords come from scales is introduced. With more advanced players, depending on the style that they want to play, they can learn more advanced chords and progressions, licks and fills, and creating intros and endings and generally sculpting the songs.
Teaching people what they want to know and feeding their enthusiasm has been the best thing about teaching for me. Understanding what a student already knows, seeing where there may be gaps to fill and what new material they are ready for makes it a exciting experience for both the student and me. Using material that interests them and moving ahead in a way that encourages and rewards their effort gives them a true sense of accomplishment and heightens their enjoyment of the lessons and their own improved ability.
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