Having taught guitar and songwriting since I was in high school, I bring a lifetime of varied experience as a musician, a songwriter and a music teacher to both adults and children.
I am active as a performer, a composer, a Grammy nominated producer, an event producer and a father of musicians, so I know the territory from many perspectives.
My teaching is tailored to a student's desires and needs and I evaluate each student on their individual desires and needs.
The joy of imparting knowledge about how to play, sing and write music nevers gets old. To be able to play music is to always have a friend at hand. Sharing this capacity to create, perform and entertain oneself, as well as others, is passing along one of the greatest gifts life has to offer. Showing a student a new idea about how execute a chord passage or a solo run brings as many rewards to the teacher as it does the student. Having a student thank me in the middle of a performance for an insight I have been able to pass along to them is one of the greatest reactions any teacher could have.
Scott is very patient and encouraging. I like that he starts with basic music theory - circle of fifths to help me understand basic chords for major keys. Good practice techniques to strengthen my fingers.
Scott’s daughter was in my first grade class, so at the beginning of the school year I asked him if he could come in every Friday morning for the entire school year and teach music. Scott’s idea was to do so via a songwriting exercise. He would ask the kids to write a song with him about the weekly theme through which we explored all of our daily disciplines. At the end of the class, we would have 15 minutes of playing instruments and dancing to simple old rock’n’roll songs like Hound Dog and High Heeled Sneakers. At the end of the year, we had about 13 very good songs which Scott recorded with the children in a marathon day of performance and made copies for each of the students and their families, who were thrilled by the performances and having the keepsake recording. Scott did a wonderful job of helping the children explore their word and conceptual skills by asking very good prompting questions and carefully coaching them so the ideas seemed like theirs, even though he helped out quite a bit on some occasions with the lyrics. All-in-all, a fantastic experience for me as well as the students.
Scott taught all three of my sons guitar and did an excellent job of adjusting his instructions to three very different learning capacities and attention spans. Scott doubled as an electric bass teacher with my most enthusiastic child and was extremely patient with my youngest. Scott came prepared with different lessons for all three and the boys looked forward to his sessions with them. I especially appreciated the way Scott included music theory tips as part of the learning process and his easy going personality.
I had been a so-so guitar player for many years, as singing is my main focus, but I needed to ramp up my guitar skills to accompany myself and lead a band I started to perform my songs. Scott made all our lessons interesting and was able to take my rudimentary skills to whole other level by explaining how to play more meaningfully with specific rhythms in my right hand, as well as using the pentatonic scales for single note solos. Scott is steeped in many of the blues styles, which appeal to me a lot, so I learned more from him that regard and how to apply some of those stylistic tricks to any song I wrote, blues or not. Our lessons were fun and enlightening, so much so that we became very good friends and play music together frequently.
I access their skill level first, then their interest in learning which styles, expectations regarding being a performer, do they accompany themselves singing and the overall context within which they want to play, i.e. solo or in an ensemble. Then we select material to learn, whether scales, chords, music theory as relating to a performing context and as a songwriter.
I studied classical guitar for a year in college, but most of my learning has been on my own. I have played guitar professionally since I was in high school and have composed music for TV, films and commercials, as well as producing a Grammy nominated album (Talk To Your Daughter, Robben Ford, Warner Bros. 25647-2). As a performer I have played with North Mississippi bluesman RL Burnside on short US tours and perform regularly with several bands here in Los Angeles, in both acousatic and electric formats. My training as a teacher also started in high school, teaching fellow students and expanding my lessons to their younger siblings, then adults and college friends. Once my children started school, the pattern repeated itself with their friends, younger siblings, parents and eventually strangers contacting me through referrals. Having a selection of students with a wide range of interests expanded my own skill set and gave me plenty of opportunity to develop a good teaching style. Being a songwriter helps me to advise students how to integrate playing and signing at the same time effectively.