Lessons

I offer guitar lessons and harmonica lessons in the following formats:

Teaching Approach

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). 

Tablature notation (play by number) historically began with the Lute (a popular stringed instrument during the Renaissance period).  In order to make it easier to learn songs and musical pieces, the lute players used this "play by number" notation system. Likewise, in the 1980s, in order to capitalize on the popularity of guitar-based music (rock, blues, country, folk), tablature notation was applied to the guitar.  Since then, YouTube videos have become another popular way to learn songs, scales and chords for the guitar ("watch my fingers" on the tiny screen).  While tablature and videos are helpful ways to learn quickly in a "technical sense" (where do I put my fingers), "music literacy" (IMHO) has suffered as reading and writing music in traditional or "standard" notation has waned over time.  There are advantages to learning via multiple approaches (standard notation, tablature and video), as the best of all worlds.  Music literacy with traditional notation has additional advantages in terms of learning songs, transposing keys, arranging tunes for the guitar, and communicating with other musicians (piano, bass, horn and wind players). 

Likewise, developing a good ear with ear training exercises can be very helpful.  Some students come ready with a pretty good musical ear.  Other people are more like myself, as I was initially more focused on rhythm and had to develop my musical ear over time.  But playing by ear should not necessarily become a way to avoid learning to read music and understand basic music theory concepts.

Some people naturally are singers and want to accompany their singing by playing chords.  Some people want to learn lead guitar riffs.  Or even both.  There are many pathways you can follow on the Guitar "Yellow Brick Road".  I can help you get started for whatever direction(s) you might want to pursue musically.  If you are interested in lessons, please contact me.