Who and What I Teach

Who I Teach
I’m happy to work with both kids and adults. Prior to teaching my first ukulele students in 2009, I taught guitar lessons full-time for ten years, and I’ve enjoyed working with folks from just about every age group.

What I Teach
I teach folk, rock, and pop music on the ukulele. Most of my students want to learn their favorite songs, how to strum chords, how to play solos, how to jam with their friends, how to fingerpick. Other areas I’ve helped folks out with include songwriting, music theory, reading music, how to figure things out by ear, and home recording.

I love teaching music to kids. We usually start with melodies along a single string, learning the basics of fretting notes, and move into chords as we progress. We also do some singing, play rhythm games, and get up and move around. My youngest students have been 7 years old, but I’m up for playing music with younger kids if they’re interested. Parents are always welcome either to sit in on lessons with us or drop off and pick up.

Coffee Shop Jam
Once or twice a year, I offer my students an informal performance opportunity that I’m calling the Coffee Shop Jam. I set up my PA system at a small local venue, and invite students of all levels to share a little bit of what they’ve been practicing. It’s an optional event, but I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from participants who found it to be an inspiring experience and a great goal to work toward.

My Favorite Artists
I love The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Sting, The Police, R.E.M., The Smiths, The Cure, Jeff Buckley, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Pat Metheny, Thelonius Monk, Joni Mitchell, Prince, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Tori Amos, Leonard Cohen, Janes Addiction, Smashing Pumpkins, Ani DiFranco, New Order, Depeche Mode, John Fahey, Kelly Joe Phelps, the Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band, Pierre Bensusan, Richard Thompson, lots of pre-WWII blues guys like Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Son House, Bukka White, Skip James, and harmonica cats like Howard Levy, Deford Bailey, and Sonny Terry. I’m listing these folks to give you a sense of where I’m coming from, but as I mentioned earlier, we’ll learn whatever you want.