Where is my studio?
My studio is conveniently located in my apartment on the Upper West Side. I use the studio solely for the purposes of teaching and creating music. Because of this there is a strong musical “vibe” to the space. This is conducive to learning and the pursuit of music. I believe that it is important for the student to have a space away from school and home in order to study an instrument. This facilitates the ability to get away from the daily grind and to immerse oneself in the musical process.
For my younger students my location is ideal. Just outside the studio is a sitting room where the parent can either inconspicuously observe the lesson or just relax and read. I am flexible in my scheduling, which is necessary given most young students busy lives.
Why study music?
I believe that there is musical ability in all of us. My job as a teacher is to recognize that ability and help it to realize itself. Some students have musicianship that is very apparent. Either they have studied an instrument before, or they have been exposed to music in such a way that it has become part of their life. Because of this exposure to music, that student may have a certain amount of musical ability. Another student may have an interest in music, but little in the way of experience or developed ability.
I welcome all sorts of students of all ages and abilities. I believe that all of us should have the opportunity to make music. Like any discipline, music offers a unique set of skills that can be valuable in other pursuits in life. It can bring out parts of us that we didn’t know were there. Most importantly, it can give us pleasure, satisfaction, and potentially make us happier.
What is my approach?
I believe that in the end my guitar student should be able to enjoy playing the music he or she loves. But first the student needs to acquire the skills to do this. These skills are:
- Proper posture and hand position
- Reading music on a basic level
- Playing melodic lines
- Knowledge of chords and chord variations
- Getting a good sound/Developing a good ear
To accomplish these goals I use materials that have proved to be useful over my many years of teaching. These include a good method for reading, such as Mel Bay Method, volume 1, and classic songs from the folk and rock catalog. At a more advanced level the student and I analyze and learn to play solos by great guitarists, such as Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. Equally important to all of this is learning to play with others. From our very first lesson I establish a musical communication with my students by playing with them.
All this is done in a supportive teaching environment, with attention, patience and understanding. I have a good rapport with my students. Many have stayed with me from an early age right up until college.