Lesson Feesfrom $25.00 / 30 Minutes
Songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist based in Chicago. I've taught a wide variety of disciplines over the last six years, coming to focus on songwriting and vocal performance. I also teach guitar (acoustic, mainly fingerstyle) and bass at a beginner through intermediate level, and am happy to mix in the basics of any of my other skills (cello, harmonica, piano, ukulele, sound production) to expand the songwriter's toolbox for self-producing demos/releases.
I love to meet students where they're at, and to make sure that practicing is a joy much more often than it's a chore. I place an emphasis on students listening to their bodies and experimenting with new content from a place of curiosity and exploration, rather than enforcing 'correctness' for its own sake. Above all, I do my best to make every lesson a collaboration. I mix in theory anywhere it feels relevant and accessible, because I think a strong theoretical foundation can enhance anybody's experience of playing music.
BA in Music & Physics from Carleton College, M.Sc. in Quantum Information with a certificate in Fundamentals of University Teaching from University of Waterloo. I served as the Student Director of Choir at Carleton college, and at both of these institutions I taught a variety of classes including swing dance, rock climbing, and various physics courses, and also tutored math/physics privately. I've performed at every kind of venue from a concert hall or dive bar to the street corner. My music education at Carleton culminated in a recital featuring the song cycles Songs of Travel by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Ariettes Oubliées by Claude Debussy, as well as an undergraduate thesis completed by composing, performing, and recording an art-pop concept EP called True Story.
My general approach to vocal performance comes from the Swedish-Italian school of Alan Lindquest and David L. Jones, and the exercises I work with come from that tradition. However, I integrate that school's ideas of healthy vocal production with popular styles of singing to help students sing in a sustainable fashion for any genre. I tend to introduce solfege quickly, especially if the student doesn't already read music.
My approach to guitar or bass varies widely with the student's musical background and goals. Some books I've used are the Hal Leonard method books (bass and guitar), William Leavitt's Complete Method for Guitar, and Joseph Alexander's Complete Technique for the Modern guitar. All students will additionally work on learning songs/pieces of their choosing, and I generally let the student determine the balance of exercises vs. performance pieces per their learning style.
In songwriting, I take a holistic approach to develop the whole songwriter, both in the technical craft/mechanics of songwriting and in the more mysterious 'creative process.' I've worked with a variety of books depending on which area the student currently wants to develop, including:
Lyrics: Writing Better Lyrics and Songwriting Without Boundaries by Pat Pattison
Writer's block/the creative process: The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
Arrangement: The Addiction Formula: A Holistic Approach to Writing Captivating, Memorable Hit Songs by Friedemann Findeisen
Harmony/theory: Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony by P.I. Tchaikovsky