Years of experience
more than 10 years
Teaching Children, Adults or Both?
Teaching special needs children
About the teacher
I grew up in rural Tennessee, about 70 miles north of Memphis. I am the only musician in my immediate family, although I have distant relatives that play bluegrass, country and folk music. I was deeply influenced by music at an early age, almost every style of music fascinated me. I started playing guitar at the age of 13, mostly teaching myself, with the occasional lesson at the local music store. By the age of 17 I had grown interested in jazz and the art of improvisation as well as classical guitar. I started teaching guitar around this time and have since then taught many students at all levels and at a wide age range. I have gained a vast amount of knowledge of the guitar from self teaching, private study and at universities, I would love to continue sharing this knowledge to those individuals that have the fascination and curiosity I had and still have growing up.
Education relevant to teaching music
I studied privately for three years with Stevie Wonder's guitarist Rick Zunigar while living in Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles I attended Los Angeles Valley College where I studied classical guitar with Robert Mayeur. I studied privately with classical guitar greats Scott Tennant and Evan Hirchelman. When I first moved to Oregon I studied with jazz guitarist John Stowell and later attending Portland State University on a part-time basis studying Advanced Jazz Improvisation under Darell Grant. I recently graduated from Portland State University with high honors with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies.
Teaching philosophy and approach to teaching
My lessons tailor to the individual’s needs, recognizing that everyone has different aspirations and motivations for studying the guitar. I have a guitar curriculum for the beginning student up to the advanced student that will challenge them within every teaching session. With my guitar students I focus on sight-reading, articulation, ear-training, theory, developing tone and technique as well as interpretation on the pieces being worked on. I strive to provide students a safe learning environment so that they are comfortable engaging in learning activities. I also like to emphasize the importance of a focused and efficient practice session for this time with any instrument is an important aspect of being a musician. Also, I like to teach the student about the importance of proper movement on the guitar to ensure a lifetime of pain free playing and performance.
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