Instruments

I currently offer private instruction on the instruments pictured below. Click on an image for a complete description of my lessons program on that instrument. 


My Studio

I teach guitar, bass, banjo and ukulele from my home studio located in old town, Lafayette, CO, easily accessible to Louisville, Broomfield, Superior, and Erie.  I have almost a decade of experience teaching students from ages 6 to over 60, so I know that each age group, as well as each individual personality, has a unique style of learning. It is my goal that every student get the same sense of joy and fulfillment in learning their instrument as I get from both teaching and performing. That is why I custom design a lesson plan for each and every student that reflects their individual tastes, physical abilities, and musical goals, be they personal or professional.  My home is a family friendly place where people of all ages come to learn. Parents, children, siblings, spouses or anyone else you wish to bring along are all welcome to stay during your lessons, as many choose to do.  I take great care to create a relaxed but focused atmosphere in which students learn at the pace that best suits them.  I believe that the process of learning an instrument should be an enjoyable one, as it is a skill that can serve you for a lifetime. Whatever style you wish to learn, I make it my priority to impart to you the skills necessary to play the music you love as quickly as possible.

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Price and Scheduling

The first lesson is a free meet and greet where we can sit down and get to know one another. We will discuss what kind of music you like, what your goals are, and we will go over some basics.  Contact me for current tuition rates.

My schedule starts at approximately 2 p.m. and runs until approximately 8 p.m. during the week, and I have limited mornings and weekend hours.  Contact me to set up a time!

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About Me

My musical background is a varied one.  As a kid I balanced my time between playing the guitar for myself and playing bass in the school orchestra.  I truly enjoyed both, but over time my interest in folk and world music grew and my interest in being a classical player waned.  Though I continued to study classical music through adulthood, my focus as a player shifted to primarily the music I was actively listening to and creating. 


This music included funk, jazz, reggae, Irish, rock of all kinds, blues, metal, African, Balinese and Scandinavian to name a few. I have performed in numerous bands over the years in many of the above genres. I also studied classical composition at the University of Colorado.  Now the music I am creating reflects numerous folk influences while integrating the harmonic and structural ideas gleaned from the study of classical music.


In addition to playing the instruments above, I have logged many hours practicing, performing and recording on other instruments.  These include the nyckelharpa, guzheng, Irish flute and whistle, bagpipes, various world flutes, frame drums, accordion, horse-head fiddle, and harmonica .  As you will see if you come study with me, I have instruments coming out of every nook and cranny of my home!  

Currently, I write and produce an audio storytelling series called Tales of the Boatman, for which I compose and record music using all of the instruments listed above.   It represents the culmination of my musical journey thus far. Check out the website at talesoftheboatman.com, where you can listen for free. There is also a virtual world instrument museum on the site.

I am also a contributing editor to the Autumn Salon, an online magazine that features interviews with artists across disciplines.   Check it out at theautumnsalon.com

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Guitar Lessons

I instruct guitarists of all levels and ages,  from beginner to advanced. 

All styles of music are welcome. Over the past 8 years I have taught everything from slide guitar and country blues to metal, pop and rock - even anime soundtracks and dubstep! 

 Whatever the genre of music, students learn a strong foundation of technique which includes a variety of strumming styles, flatpicking and/or fingerpicking. Music theory and notation are introduced in coherent, digestible doses as they pertain to the style being taught. Strong emphasis is placed on ear training and many musical examples are extracted from recordings of the students choice.

Students are encouraged to sing if they wish and I provide instruction on how to sing while playing (not the world's easiest task!), as well as general vocal coaching.

The guitar, unlike many instruments, has a very long oral tradition, and the amount of music that stems from this tradition is vast.  I place a strong emphasis on learning the skills passed down this way in addition to more formal, notation-based instructional methods.

Students also have the opportunity to play live in front of an audience at regular recitals.

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Banjo Lessons

NEW - Visit my site, banjolafayette.com, for a complete overview of my approach to banjo lessons, sound samples, a brief history lesson, and more! 

I teach a unique and creative approach to banjo, specializing in both clawhammer and three finger styles.

My personal style is based on old styles of mountain, traditional and blues music, so that is where the lessons start: learning classics such as Cripple Creek, Shady Grove and Darling Corey.

Over time multiple tunings are explored and new techniques introduced as they suit your individual style. Reading tablature and learning to play by ear are a big part of the lessons. I don’t believe the banjo has limits and I am always eager to learn and teach it’s use in all genres of music.

The development of a solid sense of rhythm is paramount to the process of learning any instrument, but it is of extreme importance on the banjo, so I accompany my students on guitar throughout the lesson in order that they might always play in the groove. 

Students are encouraged to sing if they wish and I provide instruction on how to sing while playing as well as general vocal coaching.

Students also have the opportunity to play in front of a live audience at regular recitals.

 

 

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Bass Lessons

I instruct all levels of bass playing, from beginner to advanced.

Students learn a strong foundation of technique from which they can eventually build their own style. Extended techniques such as slap, tap and chordal strumming are also explored.

 I place a strong emphasis on ear training and many musical examples are extracted from recordings of the students choice. From this ear based approach theory and notation are introduced, and the student can then put what they learn into context.

The bass is treated as its own instrument, with its own specific techniques and musical roles to play, not simply as an extension of the guitar.  

As the student’s skill develops, they will achieve a command of the fingerboard which grants them an increased capacity for musical expression in any setting.

Students also have the opportunity to play in front of a live audience at regular recitals.

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Ukulele Lessons

The Ukulele has been rediscovered by mainstream culture in the last ten years, and it seems like it's everywhere now.

 Indie-inspired car commercial jingles aside, I fully believe in the Ukulele as a viable instrument that is more than just a mini guitar.  It has a sweet voice and a real unique potential for taking all kinds of music in new directions.  

That is why I am passionate about teaching it: because I really love it!  It also has the advantage of being easier for children to play, but make no mistake, it's for adults too!  

Just like on all instruments I teach, students learn theory, note recall, and overall musicianship on the Uke.  

Students also have the opportunity to play in front of a live audience at regular recitals.

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Recitals

Click here for information on the upcoming recital!

Students of all instruments have the opportunity to play in a regular recital series hosted at Cannon Mine Coffee in Lafayette.  

The venue provides the atmosphere of a real gig, not just a student recital.  It's always a full house and a great time for everyone involved!

There is a great diversity of styles represented in the music performed, from the latest pop to mountain music to heavy metal.   

Students play instrumental, vocal, solo and ensemble pieces, and I am often the accompanist.  Many original songs are debuted, as well as creative covers. 

People of all ages get a chance to perform.  Kids as young as six have rocked the house, and adults have performed some really serious stuff right along side of them. 

This is the moment when all the hard work and practice comes together, in front of the most supportive audience you could imagine! 

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