In The Beginning: While I have played guitar for over 35 years and began learning to play at age 14, I understand that we all have to start somewhere.
At first, I learned in a more traditional way, with the Mel Bay method books, learning to read music, and playing some classical guitar pieces.
But I also have fond memories of playing rock 'n roll with my neighborhood friends in a "garage band" while in high school.
I have taught people of all ages to play guitar and harmonica; children through senior citizens.
Even if you are an adult, you too can experience the joy of learning to play an instrument such as guitar, and possibly playing with family and friends.
Why be a "TV couch potato", when you can be at least a "garden variety" guitar player, and someday, maybe even a guitar "virtuoso vegetable"!
Group Lessons: Given my work schedule, I teach mostly group lessons at community education centers, recreation centers, and community colleges.
Most recently, I have taught guitar and harmonica classes for the
Rutland Recreation Dept.,
and Guitar I classes at the Community College of Vermont in Rutland.
In 2002, I started a local program for the national non-profit
Guitars In The Classroom.
In 2005, my co-teacher Linda MacFarlane took over this program for me, while I was working on my master's degree.
I hope to help out with teaching GITC classes again in the future.
Private Lessons: If you are interested in private lessons in guitar or harmonica,
If my schedule permits, maybe we can figure out a workable schedule.
Online Lessons: My Capstone Project for my master's degree at
Marlboro Graduate Center (graduated in 2007) was a Music Theory Web Engine.
Basically, it is a software tool to help music teachers provide online lessons for their students.
In the near future, I plan to utilize this web service to provide some guitar lessons on this website.
Teaching approach: I teach in a hybrid fashion: a somewhat traditional approach (method books, learning the basics), plus a customized approach to address a given student's goals, interests and abilities (see Topics Menu).
I also use both traditional standard music notation and tablature.
While I myself did not see tablature until I had been playing for a decade, I realize that tablature has it's place in the learning process; it can be a good way to jumpstart learning, and provide some early successes.
But I also believe that tablature should not become a "crutch" or a way to avoid learning to read music.
Likewise, developing a good ear with ear training exercises can be very helpful.
But playing by ear should not necessarily become a way to avoid learning to read music and understand basic music theory concepts.
Topic Menu: For my group and private lessons, I have developed a series of what I call "Topic Menus".
The top of each Topic Menu reads as follows: "Just as a healthy diet requires a good balance of all food groups, this course will try to give you a well-balanced coverage of topics from the various categories below".
Think of warm-up exercises for your appetizer, notes and chords for your entre, ear training and rhythm training for dessert, and maybe some special effects to add a little bit spice to your playing.
Photo: This photo was taken in December 2002, after our first local course for the national non-profit
Guitars In The Classroom program.
GITC co-teachers Ron Pulcer and Linda MacFarlane pose with several guitar students (K-6 teachers)
from our first Guitars In The Classroom course.
We were saying 'Thank you' (Merci Beaucoup) to
Godin Guitars of Montreal, Quebec,
who donated these guitars to our new program in Rutland, VT.