How are we different?
Over the years I have frequently been asked about how our music school is different from other schools in the area. After all, aren’t guitar lessons the same wherever you go? In fact there can be a world of difference in guitar programs. There are many different playing styles and levels of instruction. The background and experience of the teachers can also vary greatly. Most playing styles use similar techniques at the basic level, however as you progress into more advanced techniques, the playing styles as well as the teaching methods can become very different. Some styles are very structured, and require the student to indulge heavily into music theory. These styles also put lots of emphasis on proper hand positioning and playing technique. Other playing styles are built on personal creativity and are loaded with musical improvisation and playing by ear. Some teachers will simply teach the student a few basic chords and some simple songs. These are all valid forms of instruction and they all fit into different places on the musical spectrum.
~Live Performance Opportunities~
I have worked in different aspects of the music industry for over 45 years. During these years I have gained a considerable amount of knowledge and experience. As a student myself and then as a teacher I have had the opportunity to perform throughout the region, in many different venues and with many different types of music. I have had the opportunity to teach guitar for several area establishments and was an instructor/consultant for a local Screen Gems movie production. All of these experiences have helped shape our guitar/music programs.
In 1992 when our school was established, certain goals were set. First, we wanted to develop a complete comprehensive contemporary guitar program that would offer more than what the area has offered in the past. The program would include many special features that would give the student a deeper understanding of the guitar.
We teach guitar as a creative art. Our programs are designed for individuals who wish to learn good basic playing skills, but with a much broader approach to learning music. Guitar is the center piece of our programs but as a student progresses the focus expands to include several other instruments and different aspects of music. By blending our creative guitar programs with our multi-track recording studio, the students have a unique opportunity to write, compose, develop and record their own original music. This gives the student the opportunity to work with the bass guitar, 12-string guitar, keyboard, drums and vocals. Many students also enjoy learning basic multi-track recording techniques. This gives the student a much deeper understanding of music thus making him/her a more complete musician. All of our students have the opportunity to do special projects such as recording personalized Christmas CDs for family and friends. Some of our more advanced students have learned great guitar techniques while recording their own solo CDs. These types of special projects help the student build self confidence by learning to perfect their playing skills, therefore giving the individual a much better feel for performing “live.”
Multi-Level Certificate Program
We use a multi-level certificate program as a way for students to set personal goals for themselves. Each student has specific requirements they must meet as they progress through each level. As the student works through the building blocks and memorization required for learning guitar they also:
- learn to play many songs
- learn valuable playing concepts
- acquire better understanding of the guitar so they may play any song they wish!
In some ways our guitar programs would be considered very retro – meaning that much of the music we use for instruction is from the classic rock era. This is where many of the best and most recognized guitar techniques are found. However, it is very important not to become locked into one particular playing style, so our programs also include techniques from several other styles of music. This helps our students become more versatile and gives them more options as to what direction they may choose to take with their talents.
Our creative guitar programs have proven to be unique in many ways. We are often filled to capacity with great students and have a waiting list. Over the years we have taught hundreds of students. This translates into “thousands” of classes. Many of our students have gone on to use their talents in many different ways. Some perform in the area as soloists; others have joined or formed bands; while others help lead music in their church.
Our goal is to equip our students with the musical skills needed to succeed in their musical endeavors whatever they may be.
Please call us today to learn more about our guitar programs