Teaching has enabled me to grow as a musician, teacher and as a person. I love the guitar and I love teaching the guitar. A great part of teaching is the interaction with students, which I enjoy as well as being in a position to help foster and encourage students to apply the material learned in class and see them move forward. Music is a great conduit for self-expression.
I have been playing guitar for 40+ years and started teaching guitar professionally in 1983. I have taught guitar privately to students of all ages, in various Music Schools and Music Store locations, High School Guitar Clinic situations, Public Schools, Catholic Schools, adults in Continuing Education classes, Limestone School Board “Leap” and “Challenge” programs, the Suzuki Music Festival @ Queens University, Guitar Camp Music Week at Constance Lake First Nation Reserve, in student’s homes, and from my own Recording Studio and Guitar Studios in Mississauga and now in Kingston.
I am able to teach various music styles such as Folk, Classical, Acoustic Blues, Bluegrass, Jazz, Finger Style, Country, Rock, Blues Rock, Rock Soloing Techniques and more. My strengths are Rock guitar, Rock guitar soloing, Acoustic Blues, Blues Rock, Free-Style, and Finger Style Acoustic. I enjoy playing and continuing to learn all styles. My background and interests have shaped, and developed the strengths that I have become well acquainted with over the years.
My aim is to teach students guitar by using basic, simple, and/or complex illustrations, examples, technique, and theory to play the guitar, and to make learning fun. When students have fun they tend to retain more and are encouraged. Beyond that, I want to help instill the love of an instrument and motivate the student to convey emotion via the medium of music through the diverse expressive elements of playing on electric or acoustic guitar.
I love to see students succeed in learning the guitar. With my experience, spontaneous ideas, sense of humour, defined structure, and knowledge, I have the ability to untap a student’s creative and learning potential within a private lesson, classroom environment or group situation.
I am involved in various aspects of the Music Industry. Being, a guitarist, a live performer, guitar teacher, producer, studio & live sound engineer, songwriter and a member of SOCAN. For the last 18 years, a member of the performing Toronto based Classic Rock Band “Outrider”. I also play regularly with the Worship Band at the church I attend.
Located in Mississauga I owned, managed and engineered for 7 years, and still own “POST 407”, aptly named after a displaced Alaskan Highway Mile Post marker from a beautiful Canadian province, The Yukon. Post 407 was a 24-track analog Recording Studio which is now fully a digital studio with 18 simultaneous tracks. Digital software I use is Pro Tools, the industry standard and Logic Pro X.
Over the years at Post 407 Recording Studios I engineered years of independent releases and demos. To some extent POST 407 was mobile and I did projects in Montreal, Barrie, and around Mississauga. Being an engineer and musician at Post 407 was an amazing experience where I constantly met talented musicians and made lasting friendships. I never laughed harder than any other place in all my life. There were some trying times, ordinary times, and some absolutely hilarious times.
POST 407 NOTABLE MUSICIANS :
These are people I have played with live, done live sound for them, recorded their music projects or a combination of these things:
Michael Fonfara – Keys on Foreigner Four
Peter Sab – Sab Band – Sab Fest
Tim Huff – Double Edge/Outrider
Derek Rumball – Double Edge
Michael Cavello – Manic Drive
Mike Janzen – Mike Janzen Trio / Jazz Pianist, vocalist and composer
Jacob Moon – Independent artist from Hamilton
(Notable performance “Subdivisions” by Rush on Youtube)
Steve Bell – Independent Dove award winning Christian artist from Winnipeg
Randy Coven – The Randy Coven Band
Jerome Godboo – The Phantoms
Jack Tasse – The Viletones
Phill Gray – MC Devay
Janine Noise – Independent Artist
Paul Dowber – The Throwaways
Michael Keith – Various bands
Greg Paul – Red Rain (Blues Band) and Author
David White/Ken Michelle/Mark – The Dustkickers
Corey Lacey – Hired gun for various gigs
I also had the pleasure of hanging out with Terry Brown for about 6 hours at Number 9 Studios in Toronto. Terry Brown Produced many of the RUSH albums over their career. Number 9 Studios rented my 24 track 1″ tape machine to transfer tracks from a Nashville recording project. This was the only time I ever rented out my tape machine, and I gladly delivered it. Terry was a gentleman and put up with all my questions about the early days of Rush, outboard gear, tape machines and the overall music scene.
CLINICS & WORKSHOPS
I have conducted guitar clinics in High Schools and Elementary Schools which consists of a 3 piece band where basic and advanced guitar techniques are performed and discussed in class. Included are demonstrations with guitar gear, pedals and studio effects. This 3 piece instrumental group consisted of various bass players and my son who is an incredibly, amazing drummer. He was 6 years old when we started, he is now 15 and Rock’s the house.
I have also conducted a Recording Studio Seminar explaining the process from song inception to full album production and “How to do a DEMO” to High School students. I regularly conduct an “Introduction to Guitar” Clinic and a “Power Chord Mania” Guitar Workshop.
Years of teaching experience have afforded me the opportunity to develop my own methods and direction using a lot of my own computer generated material. I often use these in conjunction with the great selection of guitar teaching books and methods by various gifted authors.
I also use Guitar Pro 6, a guitar standard notation and tablature software suite. There are 1,000’s of accurate song transcriptions and many of my teaching material is in this format for students acquisition and referral.
My sense of humour and life experiences put students at ease making the learning process fun while taking away any sense of pressure and diffuse all lesson anxiety. I have an imaginative creative approach to learning the guitar that will open up many new ideas for the advanced player and explode the beginner into the world of guitar playing.”
As a teacher, I can adapt quickly to the changing needs of the class or a group lesson, exploring other techniques or styles of music. I can accommodate beginner needs as well as challenge those who are advancing more quickly in a large class of 30 or a smaller group setting.
The students will receive in addition to the intense amount of material being studied for group lessons or clinics and workshops, a course outline, objectives, practice schedules and habits, learning techniques, posture, Guitar Pro 6 transcriptions, a chance try out gear and pedals, sound effects plus much more. Information packages on what to look for when buying a guitar and how to do basic guitar set up and repair are included and discussed as well.
Students will be encouraged by these words at the start of the Beginners Guitar course. “There is not a whole lot to learn to begin playing the guitar. A few basic chords, a few basic strumming patterns, some basic theory, a little bit of coordination, patience and regular practice time and you will be playing and writings songs within weeks or at least by the end of this 8 week course.”
I have recorded various “Jam Tracks” in my recording studio, which are available to students. The students can play some basic 12 Bar Blues patterns, practice soloing or play simple Jazz chords along with the drums and bass guitar of several backing tracks. These Jam Tracks motivate the student to play longer and practice more often. The Jam Tracks are an invaluable tool to stimulate and kindle the learning process, as well as develop their “internal clock” and sense of timing.
I have a Facebook page dedicated to my students. There are numerous Jam Tracks, licks, and sound clips of lesson material. My students can easily access these through Facebook. There are written discussion topics as well as a forum for students to ask questions and get answers.
The Guitar School Facebook link:
The Guitar School YouTube Link:
Started My Journey Teaching Guitar in 1983.
Etobicoke Parks & Recreation Continuing Education Course
James S. Bell Community School 1985-1986
Norseman Community School 1986-1987
Hilltop Middle School 1988-1989
Peel Board of Education Continuing Education Courses/Clinics
Clarkson Secondary School 1990-1991
Erindale Secondary School (Seminars) 1993-1994
Holy Name of Mary Catholic School 1994-1995
Music Stores & Music Schools Private Lessons
Music City 1984-1987
Music Shoppe II 1985-1987
House of Thomas 1987-1989
Mississauga School of Music 1988-1991
Creative Music 1989-1991
Sounds Cool Guitar Workshop Private & Group Lessons
Private & Group Lessons 1991-2016
Studio Recording Seminars 1991-1999
Taught Coop Placement Students 1991-1999
Manager/Engineer Post 407 Recording Studio 1991-1999
Limestone School Board Private Lessons
J.E. Horton PS – Kingston 2006-2012
Lundy’s Lane PS – Kingston 2006-2012
Sir John A Macdonald – Kingston 2013-2016
Truedell PS – Kingston 2007-2014
Prince Charles PS – Verona 2008-2010
James R Henderson PS – Kingston 2009-2016
Loughborough PS – Sydenham 2011-201
Loughborough PS – Sydenham 2015-2017
LaSalle Middle School – Kingston 2014-2017
A&L Catholic District School Board Private Lessons
St. Paul – Kingston 2009-2012
Ecole Catholique Cathedrale – Kingston 2012-2014
Music Festivals Private & Class Lessons
Suzuki Music Festival – Queens University July 2009
Constance Lake First Nation Reserve – Individual & Class Lessons
A Week Long Guitar & Music Camp August 2011-2013
THE MISSING YEARS
Between, 2000 – 2006, much of my time had been spent gigging with “Outrider”, engineering recording projects, and teaching private lessons from my home. I reduced my full time teaching schedule to part time over these years and moved from Toronto to Kingston.
Kingston is our new home town, well now for 15 years and we love it as a family. It’s close to lakes, nature walks, all amenities and best of all, the traffic congestion is nothing compared to Toronto and Mississauga, I do not miss either place for 1 second. As much as I love to play at the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Toronto, I really dislike getting to it.