I offer comprehensive musical education programs for students of all ages and ability levels throughout Central Pennsylvania including the areas of Harrisburg, Carlisle, York and Lancaster and other neighboring communities. 

 

Beginning Guitarists

Learn foundational guitar skills that will enable you to confidently perform your favorite styles of music. My focus is on providing you with instruction that will make the process of learning the guitar fun and easy. Each lesson will feature specific and obtainable goals and include a practice plan. You will be amazed at how fast you can learn to play the guitar with an organized approach and a little effort!

Intermediate Level Guitarists

Continue to develop technique, aural skills, sight reading skills, and performance skills that will help you reach your personal and/or professional musical goals. My intermediate guitar lessons will also provide an opportunity for you to extend your theoretical knowledge and explore the amazing world of improvisation. My focus is to help you evolve as a musician and artist through repertoire that inspires you. 

 

Advanced Level Guitarists/Professional Development

Refine your technique, master the process of memorizing music, and deepen your understanding of theory, interpretation, and improvisation.  Focus on performance development, and prepare for auditions and recitals. I am knowledgeable of current performance expectations for university programs and can assist you in preparing for auditions for music schools and conservatories including Musician's Institute, The University of Miami, Appalachian State University, Coastal Carolina University, Berklee College of Music, and University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.

 

Teacher Training

Whether you are interested in starting to teach guitar, or an experienced guitar teacher looking to refine your craft, I offer an in depth, personalized course of study which targets understanding and teaching basic skill sets, assessment, methodology, curriculum development, creating student materials, and building a business out of your passion for teaching the guitar.

 

Develop your ability rapidly through an organized and research based instructional approach.

 

While my educational background in music is extensive (I hold a BM- North Carolina School of the Arts, MM-Appalachian State University, music therapy studies at Chapman University, and am currently completing a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at USC’s Thornton School of Music), I also hold a Master’s degree in Education (National University). Exploring the process of teaching and learning music is an absolute passion of mine and I look forward to helping you achieve your musical goals. 

 

My Approach to Guitar Instruction:

 

  • Customizable Learning Experience:  Whether you are enriching your life with music, preparing for college/conservatory auditions, in need of technical remediation, or interested in advanced studies, I am committed to providing you with a comprehensive course of study that is focused on your musical interests and goals. 

 

  • Measurable Learning Outcomes: To enable students to take ownership of their learning process, each of my students receives a monthly skill-set blueprint (an overview of skills being developed and skills mastered), detailed weekly practice logs (takes the guesswork out what to do/how long to practice each element, and provides a basis for developing self-monitoring skills-great for any life endeavor!), and ongoing assessment to track progress. 

 

  • Specific and Obtainable Goals: Providing opportunities for students to gain confidence in their ability to master new skills is vital to their motivation and to their ability to achieve their goals. My lesson plans are based on individual developmental level and each lesson focuses on specific weekly goals that can be easily achieved (with adequate practice time) from lesson to lesson.  

 

 

  • Research-based teaching strategies: To help students succeed on their path to mastery, my lessons are designed and implemented using the latest research relating to ability 
  • development in the domains of technique, rhythm, aural skills, sight-reading, practicing, memorizing music, performance development, and improvisation.

 

 

  • Music is amazing! Putting all of the educational stuff aside, making music is a truly unique, infinitely pleasurable, socially connective, and personally transformative experience. In short, more music equals more life. 

 

 

Finger Style

I think of American Fingerstyle Guitar as an amalgamation of a plethora of styles from classical, ragtime, blues, pop, rock, country, and dance music… just to name a few.  I’m not even including latin, eastern european, african, middle eastern and eastern styles, which of course it entails.  It is a melting pot of styles and techniques.

 

To begin with you will be involved with learning p i m a and assigning the thumb (p), index (i), middle (m), and ring (a) fingers to their respective strings to get them “smart”.  You will learn several right hand arpeggio patterns and discuss optimal wrist, hand and finger positioning for optimal tone production. Learning several simple clasical-type pieces will help you internalize right hand positioning and movement.  

 

Next, we will introduce the concept of the mono and alternating bass with the thumb (p).  You will learn some blues and traditional type tunes using simple alternating bass patterns. We will progress to more complicated, but not difficult classical pieces.  You will be introduced to right hand exercises to increase speed and dexterity.

 

Let me say here that I believe repertoire is the key to becoming a refined fingerstyle guitarist.  There is so much material to choose from once you have internalized and can execute the basics techniques.

 

Open and altered tunings go hand in hand with fingerstyle guitar.  You will learn several open and altered tunings along with their respective harmonized scales. You will also learn how to pick and choose what tunings to use for arranging and how to create your own altered tunings.

 

More complex arrangements and techniques such as harmonics, two hand tapping, and percussive techniques are taught using some of the author’s original tunes as well as songs by people like Michael hedges, Leo Kottke and Don Ross.  

 

Course Description

American fingerstyle guitar lessons focus on the foundations of efficient technique including positioning the guitar, right and left hand integrity, and tone production. Topics covered include establishing an effective practice routine, right hand arpeggio patterns, alternating bass patterns, bar chords, and scale patterns. Once you have mastered the basics, you will begin developing repertoire for performance. Your instructor will help you select pieces that suit your musical taste and are appropriate for your development. 

 

Jazz Guitar

Jazz is the quintessential American musical form.  It uses all styles that it comes in touch with.  It relies heavily on improvisation, syncopation and swing.  There are so many different styles of jazz:  bebop, freeform, ragtime, cool jazz, Gypsy jazz, swing and big band, Dixieland, Latin jazz, Afro-Cuban jazz… just to name a few.  It started much like the blues with slaves from Africa and Hispaniola, and like a magnet has pulled all of the influences around it to make them a part of it.  In performance situations in all forms of music, one must use their ear, but in jazz it is THE number one thing at all times. Jazz guitar lessons focus on 4 areas of Jazz Guitar study; (1) scales and arpeggios, (2) improvising, (3) comping, and (4) chord melody.  

 

Topics covered-

Scales and Arpeggios:  Topics covered include understanding the major, natural minor, harmonic minor and melodic minor scales, why they exist and their ultra-important modes for jazz, rock and fusion. You will learn how to harmonize these scales/modes and develop a firm grasp of all of the arpeggios found within them.  You will also learn how to create different modal pentatonic scales from each point in the scale.   

Improvising:  Topics covered include what improvising is… and isn’t, using modes effectively, important licks and phrases from past and present masters, working with modal pentatonic scales to hit the key changes, and extended and altered arpeggios via substitution principals.  You will learn the heads (main melodies) to many important standard tunes, as well as how to recognize key centers and how to embellish melodies. More advanced topics include superimposing triads, polychords, using whole tone, 7b9 and whole-half diminished scales, and playing over ii V I (major and minor) phrases.

Comping: topics covered include standard rhythm patterns, walking basslines, drop 2 and drop 3 voicings, harmonized major and melodic minor scales, using pick and fingers for comping,  extended and altered chords,  basic progressions in major and minor keys, and quartal harmony.

Chord Melody: Topics covered include using diatonic and b5 substitution, and raising the melody an octave.  You will learn how to play a variety of standard tunes in chord melody style and how to do your own arrangements.  We’ll also cover ways to play the same chord from each note in the scale.

Basic Guitar Skills

Learn foundational guitar skills that will enable you to confidently perform your favorite styles of music. My focus is on providing you with instruction that will make the process of learning the guitar fun and easy. Each lesson will feature specific and obtainable goals and include a practice plan. You will be amazed at how fast you can learn to play the guitar with an organized approach and a little effort! 

Course Description

No matter what style you’re interested learning, the basic guitar skills are identical for every style of guitar playing. My Basic Guitar Skills program focuses on the foundations of efficient technique including positioning the guitar, right and left hand integrity, basic chord vocabulary, and rhythm development. Topics also covered include establishing an effective practice routine; using the metronome; strumming patterns, bar chords, scale and arpeggio patterns, and basic theory. The Basic Guitar Skills program will give you the tools that you need to learn any style that inspires you. 

 

Blues Guitar Lessons

Blues is a musical form that has evolved in the United States.  The true roots of the blues are of African heritage.  The slave trade brought the Africans to the west and along with it their rich musical customs.  The influence of Blues is ubiquitous in the Rock/Jazz/Pop idioms.  Blues, along with Gospel and various European influences has given us Rock… sort of.

 

If you want to be taken seriously as any type of Pop, Rock, or Jazz guitarist, you need to master the Blues form.  In order to be an effective blues player and develop your tools to their highest degree of creativity, it is essential that you are well versed in the basic musical vocabulary of the style.  

 

Blues lessons begin with the basic 12 bar blues, variations of this form, turnarounds, and a very simple way to play the 12 bar blues in any key.  You will learn the Minor Pentatonic and Blues scales and ways to use them via sequences.  You will also learn the minor blues form and how to adopt more sophisticated chord voicings to color and liven up your approach to comping (accompaniment) and edge into the realm of Jazz. Once you have mastered the basics, you will learn how to construct as well as play a walking bassline and how to play a wide variety of soloing styles in many different keys.

 

Rock Guitar Lessons

Beginner- Learn or review the 12 bar blues, pentatonic and blues scales.  You will learn to play the 12 bar blues in any key.  We will play some rockabilly.  We will learn a few scale sequences to get familiar with those scales, along with basic blues and rock licks and phrases derived from them.  We will learn familiar riffs/themes/motifs and see how the pentatonic and blues scales influence them.  We will talk about different power chord shapes and how to get a good sound.  Extensive study of Barre chords will be implemented.

 
Intermediate-  We will bring in the two most prominent minor scales used in rock music, the aeolian and dorian modes.  We will further our pentatonic development with more sequences and phrases.  We will get in depth with the discussion and practice of the two most important attributes of a great player, vibrato and bending.  We will start learning some important solos that helped define the rock idiom.  Introduction to two hand tapping.  Introduction to sweep picking.
 
Advanced-  We will move further with more detailed and challenging solos.  We will talk about using the volume knob, the first effect you should master.  We will work on setting up an effective practice routine and using your time wisely.  We will discuss how to play with another guitarist and/or keyboard player/wind player.  We will examine how to effectively use fills.  Studies from Bach to Wohlfahrt to Paganini will be explored.  We will further our study of sweep picking and two hand tapping.  You will learn no fear of any key and be able to instantly go to any note you wish on the instrument.  We will further our study of modes using combinations of modes to negotiate key center changes in tunes.  We will talk about these things in relation to things the student would like to learn.