with practice our muscles develop their own intelligence, to the point where thought and action occur simultaneously. our skill becomes natural
— philip toshio sudo (zen guitar)
 

My Approach and Method

Each instructors approach is unique. I’ve had to opportunity to study with some very accomplished musicians. My particular approach is marked by a focus on rhythm and improvisation. I've been teaching guitar, piano and bass full time for ten years independently and through schools in the GTA area. I offer different ways of approaching the guitar. Whether it be help with sight reading, theory, scales, technique, specific styles (major Steely Dan fan here), and improvisation. I encourage my students to break out of their solitary habits and seek out "jam buddies" since this is the best way to reinforce musical skills and instrument proficiency. 

What I Offer

I specialize in teaching “pre-guitar” to younger students using the ukulele. Ukulele is the most effective “gateway” instrument to the guitar.

I facilitate group lessons (rockband style) to get students out playing in the world because although music can be a solitary activity, for the most part it’s usually part of a community or larger group. To develop these group music skills is critical. Often times my students who have been solely focused on private lessons, feel overwhelmed and confused when they enter  into musical ensemble situations.

As a songwriter and producer, I have the resources and can help you improve your craft or introduce you to how to involve yourself in the craft of songwriting and lyricism. I also can introduce you to ways you can start recording and producing your own music. 

I hold yearly (sometimes twice a year) recitals for my students and give them an opportunity to perform their music.

FAQ

What styles do you teach?

My style of playing the guitar borrows elements from Jazz, Rock, Country, Classical and Folk Fingerstyle. I've taught piano in a wide variety styles including Jazz, Classical and Pop Showtunes. My passion as of late has been fingerstyle guitar. I am a great fan of Steely Dan and their fusion of Jazz and Pop.

A main cornerstone in my teachingmethod is the development of improvisational skills. Click to See my post in the News section on the benefits of improvisation. Of course, Jazz and Blues are the predominant styles of music that is associated mostly with improvisation -- so elements from these styles are used in my approach.

Lastly, more often than not, you, the student are the one who dictates the styles we endeavour upon and learn.

 

Do you teach theory? If so, what levels and topics?

Yes. If this is something that interests you. I have studied both classical (RCM Intermediate Rudiments, History and Intermediate Harmony) and jazz harmony.

 

Do you use any method books? If so which ones?

Yes. This depends on the interests of whomever I'm working with. Some guitar books that I currently teach from are:

Hal Leonard Guitar Method, A Modern Method For Guitar, RCM Bridges Series, 21st Century Guitar Method

For Piano I've used:

Alfred, Faber, Bastien, RCM Celebration Series

This of course isn't an exhaustive list but they are the one's I am most familiar with. 

 

Do you teach ear training?

Yes! This is critical. I focus on the basics like identifying chord qualities (major, minor, diminished, augmented) intervals, sight singing, and rhythmic and melodic dictation. More advanced ear training I engage in are identifying chord progression, chord cadences, and compound chords (7ths, 13ths, tritones, altered chords)

 

Do you have a teaching studio? 

No. I make house calls.

 

Are you limited to taking students solely in downtown Toronto?

No. But I generally teach in the downtown core. I have made arrangements in the past to teach out of the city. With these students, I've often used Skype.

 

What is your cancellation policy?

24 hours with a reschedule. 

 

Do you teach over skype?

Yes. 

Rates

Send me a message to discuss rates - they are affordable and provide accessibility for those in any financial situation.