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Middle Tennessee State University Deans List Honorary Fraternity for Academic Achievement
Member of Big Fella & T' Arthur, Winner of 2003 Nashville Grammy Shocase
I'm a motivated instructor who loves sharing my passion for all things music; whether it be teaching, performing, writing or just talking shop about my favorite records or pieces of gear. I graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Recording Industry - Production and Technology. I have since then played in various bands and ensembles covering a wide range of genres including gospel, pop, rock, country, hip-hop, R&B and jazz. Having had the opportunity to play with so many different people over a diverse range of styles has allowed me to grow my musical vocabulary and has given me more to share with my students.
My teaching experience dates back to the spring of 2004, shortly after graduating from college. Early on in my career as an instructor, I found the best overall approach to teaching was to encourage consistent practice, coupled with a strong emphasis on good technique and developing good habits. Maintaining a consistent lesson schedule as well as continuity between lessons is critical. My experience with teaching has also taught me that as an instructor, you can't always be a disciplinarian. While lessons should have a degree of discipline and constructive criticism, they should also, above all else, be fun for the student. I believe a successful student/teacher relationship is achieved when the instructor provides an environment that is challenging but also fun and inspiring.
For beginning students (under the age of 10), I will typically start with Alfred's Basic Guitar Method. This method, and other methods similar to this are great for teaching young students the fundamentals of music and provide insight on proper playing technique; but do so without becoming too overly technical. With young, elementary school age students it is important to move slowly and build confidence and interest in the instrument by gradually introducing simple concepts.
For students older than 10 years of age, I will typically move into introducing basic chord and scale playing. I have found that students who are in the middle school to high school range have already developed an appreciation for some form of pop music, be it modern or older material from decades past. By introducing scales and chords, a student can progress into the realm of being able to learn, and eventually performing their favorite songs. This is a great way to keep students interested and inspire them to continue with his or her lessons
For advanced students, who can really be of any age, I will work with them to move beyond learning basic parts and fundamentals. I will work with the student to introduce advanced techniques as well as in depth analysis of theory. This is essential so that the student can move beyond just learning parts of song, to becoming intuitive and finding his or her own voice with the instrument.
I believe that as an instructor, it is my goal to take a student who has a general interest in music and develop that interest into a life long passion for being creative with his or her instrument. That being the case, I have found that there is not a one size fits all approach to teaching guitar lessons. I have found that teaching a student successfully has come through analyzing the individual students' interests, goals and skill level and coming up with realistic expectations that can be achieved from one lesson to the next.
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