In The Beginning
While I have played guitar for many years and began learning to play at age 14, I understand that we all have to start "somewhere". At first, I learned in a more traditional way, with the Mel Bay method books, learning to read music, and playing some classical guitar pieces. But I also have fond memories of playing rock 'n roll with my neighborhood friends in a "garage band" while in high school.
I have taught people of all ages to play guitar and harmonica; children through senior citizens. Even if you are an adult, you too can experience the joy of learning to play an instrument such as guitar, and possibly playing with family and friends.
For more information, please visit the Lessons page.
I teach in a hybrid fashion, combining a traditional approach (method books, learning the basics) with a customized approach to address a given student's goals, interests and abilities. I use a Student Interest Survey and Topics Menu to help customize lessons for a given student or group. The Student Interest Survey helps me to include songs and musical artists / bands that students are interested in learning.
In teaching, I also use both traditional music notation and tablature. While I myself did not see tablature until I had been playing for a decade, I realize that tablature has it's place in the learning process. Tablature can be a good way to jumpstart learning, and provide some early successes. But I also believe that tablature should not become a "crutch" or a way to avoid learning to read music (music literacy). For more information, please visit the Lessons page.
For my group and private lessons, I have developed a series of what I call "Topic Menus". I use the Topics Menu to help customize lessons for a given student or group class, based on their interests and musical goals. For more information, please visit the Topics Menu page.
Photo: The photo above was taken in December 2002, after our first local course for the national non-profit Guitars In The Classroom program. GITC co-teachers Ron Pulcer and Linda MacFarlane pose with several guitar students (K-6 teachers) from our first Guitars In The Classroom course. We were saying 'Thank you' (Merci Beaucoup) to Godin Guitars of Montreal, Quebec, who donated these guitars to our new program in Rutland, VT.