PRIVATE INSTRUCTION
(all ages and levels welcome) 

Please use the Contact page to get in touch in regards to the type of lessons.you're interested in. It is important to have an idea about what your goals are before beginning lessons to make sure we're a good fit for one another. I am a professional and my rates reflect my credentials and experience.  I am aware of the importance of music and the affect it can have on human beings of all ages.Being that I was self taught for a large majority of my learning music, I feel that private music lessons should be accessible to everyone regardless of economic background.  I feel that my rates are fair and under certain circumstances negotiable.

Lessons Offered: 

  • Guitar. (Classical, Jazz, Folk, World, etc.) 
  • Electric Bass (Jazz, Folk, Pop/Rock, World. etc.) 
  • Theory (Basic Rudiments, Harmony, Counterpoint, Analysis, , Jazz) 
  • Composition (Contemporary Classical, Contemporary Pop,RNB, Gospel) 
  • Arranging (All Styles)
 
 

TEACHING GOALS

It is of utmost importance that the student remains enthusiastic and interested throughout the learning process. The ultimate goal is to have students progress while enjoying their lessons and looking forward to new challenges and connections on different levels each week. The preferences, interests, and learning style of each student differs greatly and it is my responsibility to identify these differences and tailor each lesson in a way that maximizes student progress and enjoyment. 

Double Bass: the establishment of a strong technical foundation is imperative. Proper left hand and bow technique must be achieved through various exercises before moving on to studies and longer pieces. For the study of jazz, it is recommended that all students learn to use a bow, but this technique is secondary to aspects such as learning to read chord symbols and becoming familiar with certain repertoire. 

Electric Bass: as with the double bass, the establishment of a strong technical foundation is imperative. However, it is much more likely that a student who is interested in the electric bass has the desire to prioritize learning specific pieces, and technique can be solidified through these pieces in tandem with some exercises. 

Theory: rudiments, harmony, counterpoint, analysis, post-tonal theory, and jazz theory all lend themselves to a hybrid approach where the instructor provides a nurturing environment which includes the participation of students in exercises. An holistic approach which ties together other important aspects of music education, such as keyboard harmony and ear training, is highly recommended. 

Composition: It is important to focus on a foundation of general principles, and to avoid pure value judgements in the evaluation of student compositions. Encouraging individual aesthetics is critical, and evaluation based on a comprehensive approach to composition which incorporates general principles opposed to a specific aesthetic will assist in promoting this ideal.

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT (UNIVERSITY)

I have been incredibly fortunate to have been given the opportunity to accumulate a great deal of teaching experience in a variety of settings, from coaching high school jazz ensembles, to private double bass and theory instruction in my home studio, to undergraduate teaching at York University.  While I have certainly learned much by observing and working with professors from my own student days, like most lessons in life, it is the ones that you learn from the crucible of your own experiences that shape your career with the most significance.  In the latter respect, I owe much to my students for helping me learn and grow as a teacher, for allowing me to continually fine tune my approach, for assisting in the discovery of tactics that are most effective, and finally, for shaping a broader teaching philosophy.   

The basic components of exceptional teaching include clear and succinct presentation of material; compassion toward and acceptance of different learning styles; awareness and attentiveness regarding progress of individual students; and the desire to put as much work into preparing and delivering, as is expected of students in learning.  Pairing these basics with experiential learning has been central in both my private teaching and university teaching.  Music, as a discipline, lends itself to this style, as the retention of information through immediate practice leads to the best results.  Furthermore, the promotion of a holistic approach which ties together all aspects of music education, including composition, theory and analysis, performance, keyboard harmony, ear training, history, etc., is imperative to the successful integration of concepts, and the obtainment of a multi-dimensional understanding of music.  This approach has the added benefit of a built-in system that accommodates students’ different learning styles and unique needs.  For example, some students may grasp certain harmonic concepts more easily by relating them to the keyboard or fingerboard, while others may absorb them through listening.  This also allows students to make a more personal connection to knowledge which undoubtedly leads to better retention and understanding of that knowledge.   

Theory and Composition are best taught using a hybrid system where the instructor provides a nurturing environment which includes the participation of students in exercises, class discussions, and other engaging activities.  Student involvement in this fashion encourages continued alertness and lets the teacher assess individual levels of comprehension with regard to specific materials.  In turn, this assists in judging when to move on to the next concept.  This responsiveness in pacing is vital, and helps ensure that, along with the development and maintenance of a strong foundation of rudimentary knowledge and basic concepts, more advanced ideas will be absorbed with a moderate amount of practice and application.  With each new concept it is important to emphasize how it relates to, or grows out of, the established foundation.  

In general, the presentation of each new idea should be accompanied by an actionable takeaway, something the student can implement immediately outside of class.  Knowledge is power, but we need to supply more than just information; we also need to equip students with the skills they need to fully integrate that information within their musical environment.  This includes stressing the importance of a routine that incorporates deliberate practice (concentrated focus) and the avoidance of multi-tasking (which inhibits focus).  This promotes work efficiency, and helps avoid wasted time and frustration for students.  Cultivating the ability to practice exercises alone is a necessary step toward developing fluency.  Moreover, encouraging a holistic approach, as described above, assists in solidifying each new idea.  Listening to real examples that highlight new material is an important step, as is playing through exercises on the keyboard.   

Nurturing creativity should always be the main goal when teaching composition, even when discussing basics, examining historic examples, or emulating past masters.  It is also important to focus on a foundation of general principles, and to avoid pure value judgements in the evaluation of student compositions.  Encouraging individual aesthetics is critical, and evaluation based on an approach to composition that incorporates general principles opposed to a specific aesthetic will assist in bolstering this ideal.  Imposing group learning situations is especially valuable for introductory composition classes, as students are able to share experiences and knowledge of different instruments, including playing techniques and capabilities.   

An effective education system operates on multiple levels, between individuals and within different communities.  It is important that all instructors are familiar with accommodations that are available for students with special needs such as learning difficulties, physical disabilities, or emotional and behavioral difficulties; and it is essential that the teacher is approachable and available outside of class through office hours, email, and other online platforms like a learning management system.  This additional awareness and communication will assist in gauging the progress of individuals, and it reinforces the trust between teacher and student, helps build a sense of community, and reminds students that the teacher has the students’ best interests in mind.

Adult Guitar Lessons 

I offer instruction to adults with no experience up to professional musicians touring nationwide.

Finding time to practice can be challenging but having a regular practice and proper practice habits can dramatic decrease your learning curve. 

Learning proper technique (how to properly hold and play guitar) also frees your mind up to focus more on theory. 

I help you strengthen your concept of rhythm with a variety of exercises for the right-handing (pick or Fingerstyle). 

Learning the basics of transposition and how to use a capo so that you can identify and play in any key will allow you to play almost any song with the basic open position chords. 

Learning to sing a helps you learn songs easier, helps your improvisation, and sight reading. 

Learning how to play in a band setting or chamber ensemble setting is essential for success as a professional. 

 

Child Guitar Lessons 

Children are capable of becoming very proficient musicians at an early age with proper foundational training. 

I use improvisation to help students develop their creativity. 

I use many different methods to explain musical concepts . Some of the things a student will learn are how to read standard notation, tablature (TAB), chord charts, and rhythms. Video and audio can be recorded in the lessons as well. 

Basics of music theory (scales, arpeggios, chords , key signatures, analysis, etc.) are learned so that the student can be fluent in all aspects of the guitar.  

Children should have an appropriate size guitar. A nylon string acoustic (classical guitar) is best to start on. Lessons are available in 1 hour blocks (no half hour sessions) to be paid at the beginning on the month.

You're Skype lessons are so comprehensive. I never managed to tell you this, but I was honestly amazed by your patience and ability to break things down. You are a natural teacher. I appreciated how you managed to completely eliminate all of the setbacks that I had (secretly) anticipated would occur due to the internet-based nature of the lessons. You managed to make learning music, from a distance, with a webcam, feel quite comfortable and intimate. ”

Guitar/Bass/Ukelele 

Group Lessons and Classes

Voice Lessons

Workshops

Songwriting/Production Lessons

Curriculum Planning, Camps, and Lesson Plans

 

 

Practice Materials

Practice Log a Template to track your weekly Practice sessions 112 KB
CAGED Complete Contains all CAGED Octave, Scales, and Arpeggios. 1.09 MB
Major Pentatonic Contains all 5 Major Penatonic Scales Positions. 788 KB
Minor Pentatonic Contains all 5 Minor Penatonic Scales Positions. 1.08 MB