Yes, of course, I teach lessons. I love teaching and working with students. I have been a professional musician for more than 40 years and an educator in a variety of subjects for more than 30. A list of the musical instruments and subjects I can provide instruction in is in the table at the bottom of this page, but I thought it might be a good idea to outline my thoughts on instruction and how my lessons are structured.
Hopefully one thing you will always hear coming out of my studio is laughter. Playing and composing music is meant to be fun. There is no question that one of the great joys in my life is my participation in musical activities at all levels. Teaching is also meant to be fun. There is nothing better than working with a student and seeing the “light bulb” turn on.
I do my best to make my students feel comfortable and at ease. I have always considered instruction a mutual activity, and I believe I learn as much from them as they do from me. I am frequently surprised and impressed by the creativity and inquisitiveness of my students. I love fielding questions and I particularly enjoy receiving a question via email from a student or a parent in between lesson times (it is a good indicator that a student is practicing). Lessons absolutely should be a very interactive experience.
I believe every student is an individual. They all have unique abilities, challenges, learning styles, and rates of progression. With that in mind, I often will develop exercises or make assignments that are geared towards that individual student. I always have manuscript paper with me, and I will often write out short exercises that target an area that a student needs to work on. Each student does have a notebook and I do assign materials every week. Sometimes I will also give additional homework (such as a note-naming quiz) depending on the subject, what material we might be working on, and the level of the student. All assignments are targeted to each individual student – some may get more than others, and some move faster than others. Assignments are always geared towards the growth of the student and their goals as a player or composer.
Of course, there are some things that all students share. I believe that a sound foundation with accepted fundamentals is extremely important and I also believe that all students should be able to read music and sight-read, eventually at a very high level. Therefore, there are certain warm-ups and exercises that all my instrumental students will encounter eventually.
Lastly, I am a professional musician myself, I spend a substantial amount of time practicing my craft daily and I am a very active performer. With that in mind; I can guarantee that both the student and I will be playing in our lessons. I certainly have them demonstrate their assignments on their own and provide gentle, but critical feedback. Additionally, one of the great advantages of having private instruction is being able to hear how an exercise should sound. I demonstrate assignments and proper technique frequently. I play exercises along with my students and develop duets for us to play together.
In general, I try to maintain a relaxed and fun environment for the student to learn and grow as a musician. Some have gone on to college as music majors, some are currently music majors, some are active professional musicians today; and the vast majority of them have played for the enjoyment and fun it brings them. I have enjoyed them all, and certainly continue to do so.
|Tenor Trombone||All Levels|
|Bass Trombone||All Levels|
|Electric Bass||All Levels|
|French Horn||Beginner, Intermediate|
|Music Theory||All Levels|
|Arranging & Composition||All Levels|
|Finale (software)||All Levels|