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AA, Harford Community College
I'm a self-taught guitarist/bassist who has been playing for over ten years. I have worked at a music recording studio for the past two and a half years with artists of all genres. I've been playing in bands since I was fifteen, lots of metal and rock, but some new wave, post-rock, and ambient groups as well. I've had plenty of live performance experience, playing around Baltimore and Annapolis at venues such as the Ottobar, The Recher, The House of Rock, The Sidebar, The Metropolitan, and Union Jacks, among others. I am passionate about all aspects of music, and keep myself busy doing freelance audio work when I am not playing shows.
I have about two years of teaching experience, all of which has been done out of the recording studio I worked out of. I've taught students of all ages, ranging from seven to seventy-two! My teaching is less about learning to mimic songs and it's more about learning how the guitar/bass work from a music theory perspective. I like to call my take on theory "practical theory," meaning that I really focus on teaching all of the basic modes and how they work together so that my students can start improvising and writing - the two musical activities that I find to be the most mentally stimulating and rewarding. I find that theory is a wonderful tool for streamlining the writing process - it points you in the right direction. Other than that, I teach many exercises that strengthen mechanical ability.
Firstly, I teach the student the anatomy of the guitar and how to tune it, along with how to hold a pick. After that, I start teaching students how to identify notes on the fretboard. When they have a good grasp on that, I start to teach the basic modes, such as the major, minor, pentatonic, blues, lydian, mixolydian, and dorian modes, and while they are learning these, I give them exercises that use these modes to increase the student's mechanical skill, such as going up and down the scales in patterns of three/four/etc.
No two students are the same! Firstly, I like to ask the students what the end goal is with their respective instrument. I don't rely on lesson plans, I observe the student as they run through exercises, and I develop each lesson based on areas that they need improvement in. I am extremely patient, and I acknowledge every accomplishment I can. As long as the student is willing to learn, I am willing to teach at whatever pace is comfortable for them. The best feeling in the world is igniting a passion for music in another person.
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