About Me

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Atlanta, GA, United States
When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Skype Lessons

I just taught my first Skype lesson to my niece, Mackenzie. This is something I've been wanting to try for a while, and I'm glad we got started with lessons. Mackenzie learned a few chords, and I am learning just as much. At times, I found myself starting to reach toward the computer monitor to correct a fingering. There are some obvious physical limitations to teaching online, but I think this will be good for my teaching (online and in person). When you can't adjust a student's finger, you have to do a better job explaining things verbally. Also, when you can't reach out to adjust a student's finger, she makes all the corrections on her own. It may make the lesson go a little more slowly, but being able to self-correct is a big part of the learning process. The ultimate goal is to help your student get to the point where she doesn't need you anymore.

One thing I didn't expect was how fun this was! Part of the fun was the technology, I suppose. This was my first Skype call, and so there was quite a bit of novelty on top of teaching and seeing some family online. It sure was convenient, too. I just planted myself in front of my computer while Mackenzie did the same (with mom and dad hovering in the background).

I'm going to teach a few more lessons to Mackenzie to get used to the technology and the teaching challenges. Once I've smoothed out some bumps, I'll hang out my virtual shingle.

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