I first began to teach guitar in the Abenaki Experimental College at the University of Maine. I was barely twenty years old. It was the early 1970s, and contemporary guitar education was still in a somewhat embryonic stage. Like all young musicians of that time, I was influenced by the amazing confluence of popular music and world music as well as the traditions of jazz music, folk music, and classical music… all sharing a common stage and all capturing my listening attention. In my formative years I was very fortunate to encounter some amazing teachers… the late Larry Wooldridge and the living legend Joe Diorio in particular. These mentors lent a significant hand in my musical upbringing by imparting both the knowledge and the inspiration I sought and required. I will always be grateful to them. Their lessons were personal experiences, modeled after the time honored tradition of one-on-one instruction, master to student. And in my own teaching I have continued to follow their lead and emulate their example. In forty years of teaching… studio instruction and classroom instruction at the elementary, secondary, and collegiate levels… I know that every student still seeks and requires the knowledge and the inspiration to be a successful musician. The foundations of this success are in the following: 1. technical skills 2. theoretical knowledge/understanding 3. applied theoretical skills 4. listening and aural perception 5. literacy/practiced ability to read and to write 6. repertoire/tunes/the music. Additionally one must learn how to learn, to know oneself, to become a self-disciplined, creative and productive individual. It is my goal in teaching music and the guitar to assist my students along this path.
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