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2018 - Berklee College of Music Graduate, BM Music Production & Engineering
A guitarist since the age of ten, T.J. began his studies in traditional music theory and notation on classical guitar, and was then introduced to new styles such as rock and metal styles shortly afterward. T.J. discovered his calling and passion for Rock guitar and continued his studies all the way to his college career. T.J. is also versed in teaching students on piano and drums (beginner level) An active performer and studio buff, T. J.’s guitar skills and talent for studio production helped to secure him a spot at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where he earn a B.M. in Music Production and Engineering as a principal guitarist. Studying under guitar greats such as Bret Wilmott, Freddie Bryant and Shaun Michaud, and renowned MP&E faculty such as Susan Rogers and Prince Charles Alexander, T.J. has had hands-on experience with some of the best guitarists and studio experts anywhere in the music industry. Joining the BSM faculty to share his love of guitar, T.J. encourages students of all ages to explore the music that drives them, from indie to alternative, rock and metal, both on the guitar and in the recording studio.
I began teaching guitar lessons as early as high school. My first business venture; I created fliers and started putting them in mailboxes all across town. It was a great introduction to teaching and I immediately knew it would be something I could do for a living. Ever since I graduated from Berklee, teaching is how I've been making a living. I teach mainly guitar, but also music technology/production and beginner level piano. I currently work at Bosse School of Music in Weymouth MA teaching guitar, piano, and music technology, as well at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts in Hopkinton MA!
I am very flexible in what I teach depending on the student's skill level and interests. Learning how to read music is my favorite method for building a strong musical foundation, as this is how I began when I started playing. However, some students may have a strong desire to learn particular songs, or play in a certain style they like. In this scenario, I would love to make learning your favorite music the priority, as this can definitely be done without necessarily learning how to read music. For younger students, especially those who don't have a clear perspective as to what kind of music they'd like to play, I definitely suggest learning how to read music with the aid of a book such as Mel Bay Guitar Method Grade 1 or Hal-Leanord Guitar Method Book 1. We can talk about the details as soon as the student begins their lessons!
The guitar is an interesting instrument! In my opinion, the guitar requires more attention to comfort and posture than any other instrument. This is why, for a beginner a student, my first goal is to have the student be able to play notes comfortably. Pressing a string down with your fingers can feel very awkward on the first try, especially when playing a large acoustic guitar with steel strings. I recommend for beginner students to use a nylon-string acoustic guitar. Nylon strings are very comfortable and easy on the fingers, and therefore the student can avoid the obstacle of discomfort that a steel-string guitar presents. For the first few lessons, I like to focus on warm-ups and finger exercises. The assignments I give in the first few lessons may even seem too easy, but it is all about getting the student comfortable with the instrument, before progressing to the music!
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