Lesson Feesfrom $35.00 / 30 Minutes
2020 Acoustic Guitar Teacher of the Year - Lessonface
An active musician for nearly two decades, Sam has been teaching Guitar and Music Theory privately since 2014. After earning a Masters Degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of Chicago, Sam moved to Colorado to manage a small music shop and teach. Over those 5 years in Colorado, Sam honed his craft and further cultivated his passion for teaching and learning. Now based in Massachusetts, Sam has performed for many years as a solo guitarist as well as a lead and rhythm guitarist for a variety of bands in different styles. Sam has an in-depth knowledge of Music Theory and Improvisation (The focus of his BA in Music from Boston College, along with Composition) as they relate to guitar and harmonic analysis. Sam teaches privately, performs, and records music full time, and is happy to consider any teaching or composition requests. Though his focus is the Guitar, Sam is a multi-instrumentalist and teaches, performs, and records a variety of instruments.
In 2020, Sam released his first experimental concept album The Inhabitable Zone. The album, recorded during his time in Colorado with the band Parenthetical Spaces, is instrumental music with a science fiction based companion narrative. The music is a collaboration of styles and efforts. The art, physical album, and story are all originals self-produced by Sam. The album is available to stream on all major platforms. www.theinhabitablezone.com
In 2021, Sam released his first solo album: Town Dweller. The music, an ethnomusicological autobiography, features 7 musical sketches of various places that hold musical meaning to Sam. The album and all of Sam's music is available to stream on all major platforms. www.towndweller.com
Sam is an extremely patient and thorough teacher that works with students of any age/level to identify and maximize their inherent musical strengths while creating strategies for improving areas that need attention. His students tend to stick with him for years because of his wholistic approach to music education and well-rounded musical background. By focusing on the four main pillars of music as they relate to guitar (Mechanics, Theory, Repertoire, and Improvisation), Sam is able to help students achieve their own musical goals by giving them the tools to teach themselves for years to come. This approach fits any style/genre of music for beginners to advanced students, but the lesson time is always tailored to the student's specific desires/needs.
Having cut his teeth in competitive open jam settings and playing live in Massachusetts and Colorado, Sam is adept at using what he is given in the moment as a source of inspiration, and he uses these skills to create a unique lesson environment where the student can learn, absorb, and grow based on their personal interests. Sam uses his own fabricated templates, as well as readily available source material to expand on more detailed subjects, but is willing to work with any external material as well. Sam is also extremely gifted at constructing non-demanding practice schedules and finger exercises to help transform the idea of practice as a "chore" to that of a "lifestyle."
2020 Acoustic Guitar Teacher of the Year - Lessonface 2017 Outstanding Business Ally (Jensen Guitar Company) - PFLAG Boulder County MA 2013 - University of Chicago - Master of Arts Program in Humanities, focus on Ethnomusicology; Dual BA 2012 - Boston College - Bachelor of Arts in Music, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology; 10+ Years of Private Instruction - Robert Engleman (BA-Berklee), Eric Kniffin (BA-Berklee)
Mechanics: Covers all proper positions and posture; pick holding and placement; angles of attack; open chords; bar chords; drop voicings; finger exercises for developing speed, accuracy, and fluency; genre specific mechanics (such as tremolo picking, sweep picking, etc.); basic to advanced overall guitar method
Theory: Basic building blocks of general music theory; rules and conventions; chord construction; intervals; scales; modes; inversions; secondary functions; substitutions; modulation; understanding theoretical history through physical, philosophical, evolutionary, and social-psychological lenses
Repertoire: Depends on the student's tastes, but most conversations of popular and independent styles of music eventually lead to discussions of blues, folk, and jazz. Within whatever genre you are interested, Sam will help establish your knowledge of the "should-be-known" repertoire, and give you further listening suggestions to help build your overall musical knowledge.
Improvisation: Practical application of Theory, Mechanics, and Repertoire develops into Improvisation; basic to advanced improvisation riffs and techniques in blues, rock, country, bluegrass, folk, jazz (to an early advanced level); modal mixing; rig set-up (for electric players); sound system and recording approaches