Q. Why did you choose guitar and what do you love about playing?
I chose guitar because I loved classic rock and roll like Led
Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and others. However, I was lucky enough to have
wonderful classical teachers who steered my musical interests toward the
classical guitar. I love the guitar because it is, in my opinion, the
most beautiful and intimate of all instruments.
Q. What were your musical experiences growing up?
I was a Suzuki Violin student at age six. I started traditional piano
lessons at age eight. Finally, I started traditional guitar lessons at
age 13. In high school I played in rock and roll bands, while keeping up
on my classical training.
Q. How do you spend your free time?
In my free time I practice my guitar. Do you hear this, students?
Practice every day as much as possible! I also enjoy working out,
playing tennis, attending concerts, football, basketball, Da Bears, Da
Bulls, reading, movies, and many others.
Q. How does playing influence your teaching?
As an active classical guitarist in the Midwest I have a unique take
on teaching. I have been lucky enough to study with some of the best
guitarists in the world. These teachers have steered me down a path of
discipline, preparation, patience, and efficiency. By learning technique
from the best, I am able to see what is important for students from a
developmental standpoint. Also, being an active performer myself, I know
what it takes to achieve a consistent good result.
Q. How do you approach teaching?
I approach teaching on a technical, musical, efficient, fun, and
personal level. Technique and fun are the most important aspect of early
teaching for young students, for example. The establishment of muscle
memory is a very big aspect of excellent playing. Once a good basis of
technique is established, note reading and theory are added into the
lessons. I believe that every student I have has the possibility to be
an excellent guitarist. Therefore, I owe it to them to give them the
BEST possible tools to achieve that goal.
Q. What is the most rewarding part about your work with the CMD?
For me, having a positive impact on students’ lives is very
rewarding. I believe with all my heart that the discipline, the
confidence, the achievement, and the challenge that students get when
studying the guitar will transfer in a positive way to many other areas