At the age of 12, I began taking guitar lessons. My first instructor told me that I would never be a good guitarist because my fingers were too short. Not the sort of thing a teacher should be saying, or even thinking. After letting my guitar collect dust for the next five years, hearing a friend play the guitar brought me a renewed inspiration. I luckily picked it back up and never put it down. The cautionary tale of my own experience has a silver lining. The power a teacher holds, if wielded constructively, can be incredibly positive and inspiring. My main goal as a teacher is to help the student connect with the Joy of creating music, and to understand that any hurdle can be overcome.
I believe that the best way to start is to experience a feeling of achievement as soon as possible. I like to have a short discussion about what the student hopes to be able to play. From there, we will pick a simple song together, and I’ll teach the student how to play a few simple chords. (I find that tablature works best for beginners) Most students are delighted at how quickly they are able to put a few chords together that create a song they already know and love. The most important thing is to start off having fun, and experience the joy of creating. By having fun with the process early on, and experiencing a quick achievement, the tediousness of practice and the frustrations that sometimes come with it, remain less daunting. Small steps are always the most manageable.
Each student I have taught over the past 15 years has had different interests and different reasons for learning their instrument. My methods as instructor varies as such to meet the needs of the student, but the primary goal of finding the joy never sways. If one learns to truly love the act of creating music, he or she will likely never stop. Having written songs and played the guitar for over 25 years, my musical journey has led me to stages and recording studios all over the country, from L.A. to Austin to Boston to Tampa. The genres I am most drawn to include folk, rock, and country. Personal favorites range anywhere from Dylan and Neil Young, to Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, to the Beatles and Pink Floyd. While these are my own primary influences, my love of music goes deep into many genres. If it stirs that feeling deep in the soul, the genre is irrelevant.
In person or online lessons are available to those of any age. Whether you’re just beginning, or continuing your musical journey, send me a message below so I can start helping you along on your journey.