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 and have been music director at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation since 2011.

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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