Guitar Lessons

Why study guitar with Chris?

I teach guitar with the understanding that every student has different goals, influences, strengths and weaknesses.  As such, I strive to craft instruction that fits the unique needs of each pupil.  My objective is to act as the student’s guide on their musical path.  I have experience playing and teaching music in nearly every Western style and work with students to design a program of study specifically for them.

What is your approach?

With young beginners (10 and under), I like to use my proven, self-developed method made up of familiar nursery rhymes and recognizable pieces that progressively add a finger and/or string with each subsequent tune.  For older beginners (11+), I prefer to tackle a few basic songs to first develop open chord forms and right-hand technique before working on songs by the student’s favorite artists.  For more advanced students, I endeavor to supply them with exercises, repertoire, theory and technique to help them in their respective style(s).  To see sample material, go to the sample material page.

Why play guitar?

Guitar is one the most popular, versatile instruments in the world.  This means there is a vast wealth of resources and opportunities for players.  The guitar has been the backbone of popular music for over 60 years which gives us a vast catalog of music from which to draw. Moreover, guitar is a social instrument and can open up pickers to new communities and experiences.  Many different groups, jam sessions, open mics and venues exist to allow guitarists to meet new people and show off their skills. The guitar is also a very portable instrument and can be enjoyed without the need to be accompanied by other musicians.

For children, Science Daily reports “Researchers have found the first evidence that young children who take music lessons show different brain development and improved memory over the course of a year compared to children who do not receive musical training.”  As they get older, the guitar will allow them many social and artistic benefits such as playing in a band or writing their own songs which will boost their confidence and social skills.  Over time, guitar can become a life-long passion and pastime.

Who can learn?

Virtually anyone who wants to learn to play the guitar can do so.  It is one of the easiest instruments on which to learn the basics.  In not much time, you can be playing along to recordings of your favorite songs.  Pretty soon you’ll be leading your friends and family in sing-alongs or even playing in your own band!

Children as young as five years old can begin to play the guitar.  Being young, children aren’t burdened by self-consciousness or heavy responsibilities, giving them the time and patience to develop at their own pace.  I like to keep children having fun by challenging them with various games to develop their technique, aural skills, discipline and creativity.  I believe it is the duty of a music teacher not just to develop a child’s instrumental prowess, but aid their cognitive and personal development as well.

Adults can find improvement if they give themselves that same time and patience to learn.  Often, older students have a problem with being overly self-critical.  However, adults have the advantage of a longer attention span, memory, musical taste and listening skills to aid their growth.  By accentuating the positive in their development, freeing themselves of heavy expectations, and finding daily practice time, adults can discover the same fulfillment in the guitar that a child would.  In the same way that the guitar can help a child’s development, adults too can find the outlet for which they have been searching for years.

Lessons are not just for beginners, either.  Guitar being such a versatile instrument, there is always something new for players to learn regardless of how long they have been playing.  By undertaking new learning techniques, more challenging repertoire and seeking out new influences, everyone can find a way to improve their ability and deepen their love of their instrument.  As a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, I have studied, performed or taught virtually every style of music in Western music.  Therefore, I have a large volume of pedagogy and repertoire to impart to my students.  Whether you’re looking to tackle a new style, brush up on the basic or really challenge yourself, I can find something to make you better.

How do you have your students pay you and what is your cancellation/rescheduling policy?

Lessons are pre-paid for on a monthly basis at the final lesson of the previous month (i.e. May tuition will be due at the last lesson of April).  If you know you are going to be unavailable for a lesson in a given month, inform me at the time of payment and you will not be charged it.  Once monthly tuition has been paid, money cannot be returned for a cancellation. Lessons may be rescheduled to a different day of the month at no charge with notice given on the previous day.  Any notice given on the day of the lesson will be considered a cancellation and the student will be charged for the lesson.  Payment may not be credited toward future lessons in lieu of rescheduling/cancellation.