Mike's approach to teaching is unique. "It's not enough to just master the technique of playing the instrument" he says, "you need to be a well-rounded musician too. This means having a good understanding of the underlying theory behind music, developing a strong sense of meter (rhythm), and being exposed to music from many genres and cultures".
Mike strives hard to balance fundamentals with fun. Students learn everything from music notation to tabs (tablature), to playing along with their favorite songs and playing by ear. Mike incorporates theory, listening and accompaniment into the lessons to achieve this, often creating custom exercises tailored to each individual student's needs. His advanced students are encouraged to learn to improvise, play with others, experiment, write songs, challenge themselves and expand their repertoire.
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What Students Can Expect in Their Lessons:
While the lesson approach is tailored to the goals of the student, most students can expect to learn to read music notation, tablature and chord charts through an organized system of improving technique over time from beginner to intermediate to professional playing level. They will learn music theory all the way from basic rhythm and notes, to keys, scales, chord theory and improvisation.
They will learn songs from music artists they like and be encouraged to play along and master the songs.
Rock Students will be shown songs by artists such as ACDC, Adele, Beatles, Black Keys, Black Sabbath, Blink 182, Coldplay, Clapton, Dave Matthews, Death Cab, Eagles, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Elvis, Fleetwood Mac, Green Day, Guns n Roses, Imagine Dragons, John Mayer, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Katy Perry, Linkin Park, Maroon 5, Metallica, Modest Mouse, Ozzy Osbourne, One Republic, Paramore, Pearl Jam, Pink, Pink Floyd, R5, Radiohead, RHCP, Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Santana, 3 Doors Down, 311, 3rd Eye Blind, U2, Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Weezer, and many others.
Country Students will be shown songs by artists such as Johnny Cash, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Taylor Swift, Hank Williams, Don Williams, Willie Nelson, Carrie Underwood and many others.
Classical students will study repertoire from the midieval, renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic and modern composers.
Jazz Students will learn music from dixieland, big band, bebop, cool, fusion and current periods such as music from Louis Armstrong, Art Blakey, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Charlie Parker, Pat Metheny, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver, John Scofield, Mike Stern, Grover Washington, Weather Report, Wes Montgomery, Frank Zappa and others.
Folk Students will learn music from artists such as America, Allison Krause, Bob Dylan, John Denver, Jack Johnson, James Taylor, Patty Griffin, Ray LaMontagne, Gordon Lightfoot, Ingrid Michaelson, Mumford and Sons, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Neil Young, the Weepies and many others.
Bass students will learn to read music and how to be able to construct their own bass lines for rock, pop, soul, jazz, blues, country, or r&b, including walking bass lines.