Teaching is something that took time for me to fall in love with. After receiving my degree in 2008, it took me about a year to begin focusing on teaching as I held on to this fear of being the boring music teacher that students hated to go to. Growing up I often heard horror stories from many peers about their parents dragging them to lessons every week, and I knew that I did not want to become that person. I wanted to be the guy that students loved to come and talk to. The teacher that students never wanted to stop learning from, or the teacher that students felt that they could come to about anything. I’ve had teachers like that in my life before, and the things I learned from them along the way have made a tremendous difference in my life. I wanted to be that person for some one else.
Once the opportunity arose for me to become a music teacher I came to the realization that I would never become that guy if I never gave teaching a shot. I had to start somewhere if I was ever going to become that person. So in June of 2009, I took on my first teaching job at Rockin’ Robbies East Bay Music and have been teaching ever since.
One of the primary components with my style of teaching is to bridge the gap between 2 main styles of playing and learning. On one hand you have the more traditional approach of learning which involves reading written music, while on the other hand you have the more unconventional method of learning by ear. Both require a different skill set that when coupled with the other help the student to understand the music at a deeper level. Learning to read music is very similar to learning a language and therefore you have to be consistently interacting with it on a daily basis. Learning by ear, or by what my father calls “the-electric-type-writer-method,” where you memorize the pattern of playing notes, forces you to rely on the order and sound of the note(s) in succession. Equate this process to having your grandmother show you how to cook spaghetti vs. reading the recipe out of a book. Both require skill, patience, and time with similar outcomes, but different processes. I also like to put a lot of attention on technique so that students develop good habits from the very beginning and won’t have to digress later on in order to continue with their craft. And for those that are comfortable with their instrument I always like to work on music theory to tie everything together. All of these things, blended with a fun and inviting atmosphere help me to impart the joy and passion that I have for playing music to others.