Background & Methodology

Background

I grew up in Decatur, GA and Asheville, NC, and began playing guitar when I was 13 years old. My earliest influences were folk and classic rock, along with the classical guitar recordings of my uncle David Richter. I graduated from Guilford College in 2010 with B.A. in Music and East Asian Studies, where I studied the Shearer Guitar method under Kami Rowan.

Guilford College Guitar Ensemble (2010)

Guilford College

While attending Guilford I learned the fundamentals of music theory and history, and was a member of the Guilford College Guitar Ensemble. I specialize in Bach and Spanish compositions, but also enjoy playing the works of various composers and styles from around the world.


University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

After graduating from Guilford, I completed my MA in Music from the The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2013, where I specialized in the music of China and East Asia in the Ethnomusicology department.

During my stay in Honolulu I continued my classical guitar study, learned many world instruments, played in the Chinese Ensemble, crafted musical arrangements for guitar, and served as a founding member and Activities officer of the Ethnomusicology Association (EMA). I also had the joy of meeting musicians from around the world who have helped shaped my musicality and approach to musical learning.


Fulbright Scholarship & Music in China

I later went on to conduct extensive fieldwork in China on a Fulbright Scholarship from 2012-2013. I researched the mouth harp of the Yi minority group in southwest China, and teamed up with a local professor to create our documentary film, Masters of the Yi Mouth Harp

Masters of the Yi Mouth Harp

Since returning to the United States I have recorded two studio albums, and have begun incorporating and teaching basic flamenco guitar techniques along with the classical methodology. I enjoy learning music of all styles, and am willing to teach people of all ages of all ages! Contact me to set up a lesson schedule, or if you would like to know more.

Methodology

My approach to teaching guitar adapts depending on the student’s individual needs and goals. I believe that instilling strong fundamentals, such as proper posture and hand technique, is crucial to developing one’s tonality and overall musicality. Establishing the proper techniques early on can save you time and energy when learning more advanced pieces, and will keep your hand muscles healthy long-term.

I also believe that learning a bit about a composer’s life and listening to various interpretations of a piece are essential to understanding the music and conveying it effectively through performance. Moreover, I believe guitar is an excellent form of self-expression, and a great way to connect with people from diverse cultures and soundscapes.

Beginners can expect to acquire the basic fundamentals of playing guitar mentioned above, along with techniques for tuning, changing guitar strings, learning chords, rhythm, and superb warm up and hand strengthening exercises. I guarantee that you will be able to play your first guitar chord cleanly within 30 minutes! you can also expect to learn some simple but beautiful right hand finger picking patterns.

Intermediate students may receive a more comprehensive teaching approach that addresses basic music theory, reading sheet music, more advanced left and right hand exercises, and an introduction to polyphony (playing multiple melody lines at once). The intermediate stage can also offer ear training exercises to help with improvisation, sight reading, and harmonic and melodic recognition.

Advanced lessons are available for those with years of guitar experience who have mastered the basic techniques and are ready to learn performance-level pieces. Advanced level students will achieve the skills necessary to read sheet music and learn the bulk of their repertoire independently.

Contact me to set up a lesson schedule, or if you would like to know more.


Guitar Learning Resources:

Learn Guitar Today

Ready to learn guitar or take your playing to the next level? I’d love to be the one to help you reach your musical goals–just like the dozens of other students I’ve helped since 2016.

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