Teaching Philosophy

I feel very lucky to have had very good teachers growing up. What they all had in common was their passion for music, and the desire and ability to pass their knowledge along to others. From Bill Habenicht, I learned the importance of using my ear, and of developing a thorough mental map of the finger-board. He stressed striving for good tone and clean playing - all of this without reading any notes at all.  He was constantly listening to music, and most of the time when you talked to Bill he had his guitar strapped onto his shoulder and was playing while he talked. That dedication was infectious.

 

When I began learning classical guitar from Mark Herkner I also began learning to read music using Christopher Parkening's method for classical guitar - a method that I continue to use with my students.  At the same time I started learning more about music theory and how chords and scales are built, and about how to move around the fingerboard fluidly in any given key.  I also learned a lot more about technique in both the right and the left hands. I learned a lot about how to play efficiently, and very importantly, how to practice efficiently.  Through his own example, Mark taught me a deep reverence and respect for the beauty of music. 

 

In my teaching I try to combine these two worlds of playing - freedom and passion combined with knowledge and discipline. I want my students to develop a good understanding of the fingerboard and to develop a strong foundation in music theory - but a foundation that is immediately applied directly to the guitar.  I also strive for my students to learn how to read music because I believe that this ability enables one to understand the instrument more deeply, and provides a standard means of communication with other musicians.   It is like learning a second language.

 

Lastly, it is my  aim to encourage my students to experience what it is  like to  play with other musicians - in whatever  form they should choose - from being in a rock band to playing in a guitar orchestra or a jazz duo. With this in mind, it is also my goal to provide my students with a forum to share their music by playing for each other in order to exchange ideas and constructive criticism. 

 

I teach students of all ages - and I believe that it is never to late to learn the guitar!  During my years of teaching I have taught as many adults as I have children. Although my specialties are classical and electric guitar I enjoy every kind of music that involves the guitar.  I am very flexible in terms of the interests of each individual student and work together with them to establish and attain their specific goals.

 

Because I believe that nothing can or should be forced - especially when it comes to learning an instrument I do not have any kind of formal contract with my students.  Students are free to end lessons at any time and of course only pay for lessons they have received. One on one lessons last 60 minutes and cost 20 Euros.