These days, there are seemingly endless options available for learning to play the mandolin. Books, DVD's, On-Line Music Schools ... all of these are helpful and certainly have their place. However, to fast track your ability to play and enjoy the instrument and to take your musicianship to the "next level" nothing beats lessons given one-on-one, either "live" or via Skype.
I teach mandolin (and entry-level guitar) from my home in Chester, NY (Orange County) and via Skype. I've been playing and teaching mandolin for over thirty years and have made my musical home in the American roots styles of bluegrass, blues, jazz, and old-time ... with a healthy dose of Classical, Celtic and Choro music thrown in for good measure. I have performed with some of the country's top string instrumentalists in venues ranging from coffee houses to Carnegie Hall, Broadway and beyond and have studied extensively with mandolin greats Barry Mitterhoff (Hot Tuna) and Mike Marshall (David Grisman Quintet and other projects too numerous to mention). Along the way, I've authored two (soon to be three) mandolin instruction and tune books (sample here ... ). Believing that the musical 'path forward' is one that never really ends, I continue my own studies at seminars, workshops and with a few private teachers throughout the year.
I teach students at all levels, from complete beginners just getting started to advanced students looking to expand their skills and musical horizons. I strive to provide an alternative to the cookie-cutter approach found in many method books, academic music programs, and internet instructional resources. In doing so, I work with each student to create a unique course of study that carefully considers who they are, what musical goals and interests they have, how they learn, and whatever unique challenges that may arise during the learning process.
I try to make the lessons as "self-guided" as possible (you tell me where you want to focus and what material you are interested in), while still getting across the technique and concepts that will help to take your musicianship to the "next level". I have found that this approach helps to make the lessons immediately more relevant ... and fun!
Lessons are available in either thirty-minute or one-hour formats and can be scheduled on either a weekly or a bi-weekly basis. There is never an additional charge if we go over our allotted time by a bit, as we sometimes will when things get interesting.
I encourage my students to record their lessons so that they can review and reinforce important things that we cover. I confess to being a big believer in investing the time needed to read standard notation and to understand some basic theory but we don't have to begin with that ... or ever touch on it if you're completely averse to the idea. I can help you to play by ear or we can use TAB if that is your preference.
My responsibility is to make these lessons as valuable to you and as much fun for you as I possibly can! Please drop me a note using the form on the CONTACT page so that we can begin a discussion concerning your musical goals and to set up a time to get going!