Philosophy

I believe studying music improves the quality of one's life.  Whether a student goes on to be a professional musician, a hobbyist who plays for fun, or even eventually does not play, time spent at an instrument yields many rewards.  Cognitive benefits, stress-relief, and a sense of discipline and achievement gained through practice have all been associated with music studies.  Music students gain sensitivity, patience, and problem-solving skills that are valuable in all other areas of study.  Additionally, music students gain a life-long appreciation for the beauty and joy of music.

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Method

I teach piano, guitar, theory and composition to students of all ages and levels.  Though I carefully adjust my approach to meet the needs and interests of each student, there are certain fundamentals that I incorporate in all my lessons.     

Music Literacy

The ability to read music in standard notation opens so many possibilities for players.  The better your music reading is, the faster you can learn new pieces.  Musicians who read well enjoy the ability to sight-read through vast collections of songs.  Music literacy is also crucial in ensemble playing, composition, and music theory.

I present notation with a simple method that enables the student to understand rather than memorize. There are many systems based on mnemonic devices, but my approach encourages the student to use their knowledge and logic to figure out new notes.

Improvisation and Composition

Improvisation and composition are actually the same act, occurring either instantaneously or over time.  I guide my students to create their own music by presenting improvisational exercises and compositional techniques.  Students are encouraged to participate in music as performers and creators.  

Technique

Scales, arpeggios, and other technical drills strengthen a player's ability to perform music of any genre.  I choose musically interesting technical assignments which prove directly useful in the playing of other songs and pieces.  

Repertoire 

Most of my students enjoy playing music in various styles.  Using a mostly classical foundation, I incorporate jazz, pop, and other genres into each student's studies.  As students advance, some opt to focus more specifically on classical, jazz, or pop styles.  I strive to provide a broad and effective musical education while giving consideration to the individual student's needs and interests.