TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

A brief description of my teaching style and what to expect from the lessons:

  • I am a skill-oriented instructor. This means that I am more concerned about what you can do as opposed to how many songs you know. Skills are abilities such as reading music, improvising, composing, transcribing, recording, notating, performing and so on.
  • Most students take a one hour lesson every week; this frequency and duration typically produces the best result. The next most common schedule is a half-hour every week. Finally, some come for an hour every two weeks.
  • Students may study multiple instruments and there are no additional charges. In fact, unlike many music studios, there are no registration fees, copy fees, cancelled lessons are not required to be made up and there is not a cancellation fee.
  • Lessons take place in a fully equipped recording studio or in the student's home in the locations that I travel to. I teach every day including Saturday and Sunday.
  • Lessons are ALWAYS goal-oriented. Students in my studio will have an opportunity record their own music on a regular basis, thus documenting their progress. This has been an incredible motivational tool.
  • While I do use method books for beginning students, I am NOT a page-by-page-through-a-method-book type of instructor. Method books are for training the student to be able to read music and the goal is to graduate from the method-book system into real music.
  • When working with recordings (CD/MP3) that a student has brought in, I do NOT spoon-feed the songs to my students. Instead, I train my students to become skilled enough to learn these songs on their own!
  • All of my students learn to read music. It is my responsibility to train my students so that they are competent and confident in all areas of music.
  • I train my students in Music Theory, Composition, and Aural Skills (pitch training). Additionally, I encourage all of my non-keyboard students to become keyboard-literate.
  • It is my belief that there is no one pedagogy that is best for every student. While there are many concepts that work for most people, it is my opinion that there are and always will be exceptions.
  • While my knowledge of music is quite extensive, I do not claim to know everything. When in doubt, I will use the “Harvard Dictionary of Music” as the most valid source.
  • I have no age restrictions for whom I am capable of teaching, however, for very young children I do require a parent, guardian or the like be present in the lessons.
  • Composition training includes serial composition as well as understanding chord function and the Classical forms.
  • Aural skill training is primarily based on relative pitch and quality recognition. These are perhaps the most important, yet overlooked, set of skills.
  • Recording: Every three or four months we will record during one of the lessons. There are no additional costs for this and it has become a significant part of the lesson plan as a progress marker, motivational tool, and diagnostic aid.
  • I tend to be generous with my time and I often go past the hour when I am available to. It will quickly become obvious to you that I am passionate about what I do.
  • I have no affiliation with any music store or retailer. I may recommend certain stores based on personal experience, general quality of merchandise and service, fair pricing, and honest return policies.
  • I have tried to anticipate the most frequently asked questions above. If you have gotten this far, you are more than likely ready to schedule your first lesson. I accept students on a first-come, first-served basis. Please email guitar1789@aol.com or call (702) 236-3212 to schedule.

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