PRIVATE GUITAR INSTRUCTION
I offer private and classroom instruction in guitar,
composition/songwriting, and music theory/musicianship. Whether you are an absolute beginner on the guitar, a gigging musician, a college music student, or a songwriter/composer, our time will be put to furthering you along your musical journey. My goal as a teacher is to help create an experience that is always fun, stimulating, and enriching for the student.
Instruction for the Beginning guitarist gives the student a foundation for playing the instrument. They are introduced to right and left hand techniques, open position chords (triads, 7th chords), scales, reading music, and improvisation. Beginners apply these skills as they rehearse and perform a repertoire of blues, rock, and folk tunes.
Intermediate students work on more advanced classical, jazz, and 12 bar blues and the necessary techniques to perform this music (e.g., articulations like slide, vibrato, bend, arpeggios,etc). Studies will promote knowledge of melody, harmony, rhythm, as well as musicianship skills. Fretboard basics such as the 5 positions of major/minor scales, and a working knowledge of major/minor diatonic chords will be practiced.
Students with the goal of Advanced level playing will work toward fluency in all 12 keys. A wider variety of repertoire would include 12 bar blues with variations, classical, swing, be-bop, rock tunes, latin, ballads, etc. Advanced students will work with melodic and harmonic minor scales, diminished scales, altered dominants, and substitute harmonization. At this level students internalize ideas by analyzing music while they are encouraged to create their own arrangements of tunes utilizing single note melodies, comp chords, improvisation, and chord melody playing.
COMPOSITION / SONGWRITING INSTRUCTION
If it is true that good writers are good readers, it is also true that good songwriters and composers are good listeners.
Musicians tend to approach songwriting and composition after they’ve performed music and this is an essential part of the process because these experiences offer valuable insight into the possibilities of musical performance. Songwriting and Composition students listen and then analyze well written music to learn what makes it work so well, and what are the effects to the ear.
Songwriting students will work toward a basic knowledge of melody, harmony, and rhythm as well as the larger topic of form ie. Phrases, intro/endings, verse/chorus and arrangements. These are necessary tools to get your ideas from your imagination into a performance with other musicians. All of the above ideas will be practiced through writing assignments on your existing ideas, or else simple directions will be offered.
Composition students should be able to read music before they can fully experiment with melody, harmony, and rhythm. An in-depth study would include music theory and musicianship, harmony, counterpoint, and analysis. Graduated writing assignments are given to encourage the student to develop their voice in their own compositions.