Profession: Music Teacher/ Professional Musician
Play and Teach: Piano, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet and Guitar
Teaching Since: 1964
My goal is to give children, as well as adults, the necessary tools to do whatever they want to do in the music field. I donít believe in teaching anyone how to just play songs as written, but how to enhance through what I call "The 30 Essential Elements Leading Towards Interpretive Playing." This gives students the essential platform for music and later allows them to play with the finesse that only comes from this knowledge. Once this concept is understood, any piece of music can be enhanced, re-harmonized and played in any key even free form.
I strongly believe that a teacher should teach and convey all the knowledge he or she has attained through the many years of work, and not turn pages in a book. With this in mind, I record all my lessons so students can refer back to the recording and use it to remember the important points of each lesson.
My teaching method looseley resembles that of John Mehegan, Instructor of Jazz Improvisation at the Juilliard School of Music. As you may know, Jazz musicians are some of the finest improvisationalists in the world. The only way you can improvise is to truly understand the piece you are trying to alter. This means you need to first understand a few basic principles of music. My instructional design focuses on tonal and rhythmic principles so my students understand why a piece of music was written a certain way, and from it, what other combinations are possible and not possible. A good piece of music will sound better because the composer followed specific principles, and many times they didnít even know it.
For over 40 years, I've taught and guided many students who are now either teachers themselves (such as Joren Cain), professional musicians, or just people that want to have fun with music and be creative. I was also recognized by what was the Steinway Society of Chicago for my alternative teaching.