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MM, Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, Music Performance
BA, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Guitar Performance
2005 - Master Classes with Manuel Barreuco
1999 - Student String Award
My passion for teaching is borne out of a love for connecting with others, fostering curiosity, and sharing my love of music. I hold a Master of Music from the Peabody Conservatory, which I earned in 2006, and I studied with jazz guitar great Paul Wingo for several years after that. I have studied with some of the finest classical guitarists in the world, including Manuel Barrueco, David Russell, Roland Dyens, Ray Chester, William Feasley, and many others. I have performed throughout the United States, as well as in France, Brazil, and Thailand.
I have over two decades of teaching experience and have taught hundreds of students, from ages four to eighty-four and at every level of ability. Since 1997, I have maintained a private studio. I have also taught at many different schools since 2001. From 2003 to 2013, I taught full-time at Music and Arts Centers throughout the Baltimore/Washington area. From 2006 through 2008, I taught at the School of Rock Silver Spring location, where I was a Show Director and Guitar Instructor. I am a big believer in creating a space for students to explore their musical interests. The most important part of music lessons is the development of a relationship between teacher and student. From this, great things can happen. Learning a musical instrument is difficult and developing regular practice habits is one of biggest challenges that students encounter. I have found that establishing rapport and trust, and out of that creating a fun environment, is the best way to foster an atmosphere that will inspire the student to pick up their instrument outside the lesson.
I don't take a one-size-fits-all-approach to my students. Children and adults have different needs. Even among children, the needs of a young child vary greatly from those of a teenager. I will use method books where appropriate, particularly with young children, but I've found that a more creative approach tends to lead to students having more fun, accomplishing more in the long run, and developing positive associations with learning a musical instrument. Children often encounter obstacles with regard to motor-skill development issues (i.e., usually their hands don't work well enough under the age of ten to develop many of the skills required to play the guitar) so a more general musical exploration is often called for. This can involve singing when the child is open to that. With teenagers and adults, I like to discover what their interests and goals are and tailor the lesson in accordance.
Modern life is very busy and full of distraction. For many of us, daily life in particular is also filled with lots of obligations, which can drain us of our creative energy. Experience with hundreds of students over decades has shown me that when the music lesson becomes just another part of that sense of obligation, it produces negative outcomes. I've always felt that the music lesson should provide a respite from this, while still helping students to pursue their musical interests and develop their abilities to the fullest of their potential. When students have the freedom to explore their natural interest in music over time, this creates the best opportunity for them to establish a consistent relationship to their instrument and to nurture a love for it that can serve them throughout their life.
I started taking lessons with Roger almost an year ago. I was completely clueless when I signed up for classes. He convinced me that I can play a musical instrument. He has guided me a lot throughout. From picking up a guitar, to teaching me my first song. He is very passionate about music and that shows from his work as a musician and as a teacher. Roger tries to make sure that his students love music the same way he does. As a teacher he is very patient and flexible. He tailors each class to his student's needs. He is one of the greatest teacher I have worked with. I really look forward to my lesson every week.
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