Private Lessons

I teach private lessons in person from my home studio on guitar, banjo, bass, and ethnic plucked strings from the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey. I have over 15 years of experience teaching music to students of all ages and skill levels in a wide variety of genres, including classical, jazz, rock, blues, folk, and world music. I also offer online lessons via skype or betterfly.com to those who are not in the Boston area. If you are interested in taking some lessons with me and would like to discuss details, please use the form below or on the Contact page. Let me know what type of lessons you are interested in (skype, betterfly, or in person) and what you are interested in learning. Looking forward to talking with you!

 

Photo by Kelly Davidson

Photo by Kelly Davidson

Teaching Philosophy

I believe the most important part of learning about music is that it should be fun. Obviously, there are so many things that are important to our growth as people that can be learned from studying music - how to approach difficult intellectual concepts with a creative sense of play, developing the discipline to practice on a daily basis, or learning how to practice efficiently in order to best utilize the time we have available for music making are all important and applicable to our daily lives outside of private lessons. However, identifying what turns the student on musically is perhaps the most important because it helps motivate the student to challenge themselves and want to learn more. If what we are working on together is fun, the student cannot help but learn from it.

With all my students, I strive to create a well-rounded practice regimen that is efficient and covers a few basic areas of musical development: Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, Literacy, Technique, and Improvisation. All of these are relatively self-explanatory and my goal is to have a student be working concurrently on all of these aspects every day, but also to have a practice regimen that allows them to touch on everything without spending an enormous amount of time. All that said, some students come to me to work on something very specific, in which case my role changes and we work excusively on that concept under the assumption that the student has a way of practicing that already works for them. Regardless, every student is an individual with different learning and musical strengths, so what I work on with my students is always driven by the individual's needs and interests.

I also believe strongly in group music making as a complement to private instruction because the focus shifts towards working together as a team to make something larger than what could be made individually. Music ensembles can therefore be seen as an alternative to team sports for younger students. Instructor-led ensembles are the kind of thing that generally happen at music schools and camps, where there is a larger community of people who are all dedicated to making music together. If you are interested in taking part in one of the ensembles I teach, please use the form to the right or Contact me.

My educational background is in Jazz Guitar Performance, but for over 12 years I have been focused on playing folk styles from America and around the world on the guitar, banjo, and various instruments from the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey. Learning about these styles has opened my eyes to many different ways of creating music on plucked strings and has helped me come up with a unique approach to learning music that goes outside of the typical Western music pedagogy. I am very thankful to all of my teachers and all of this varied experience, and look forward to passing it on to my students.

Degrees:
2000 Bachelor of Music, Jazz Guitar Performance, Berklee College of Music, MA
1996 Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Studies, UC Santa Barbara, CA

Photo by Kelly Davidson

Photo by Kelly Davidson

Lesson Inquiries