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 12, 2013

Teaching Again

When I left home and went to college, I was absolutely certain I was going to be a teacher. My music education teachers all gave me glowing recommendations, including one from a notoriously tough teacher that read "Tom has the potential to be a leader in the field." (That was from Thomas Wisniewski, if any of you readers happen to have majored in music education at the University of Illinois. He had a reputation for being a difficult teacher, but I loved his orchestral conducting class.) I had a terrific student teaching experience in Oswego, Illinois, and I was all set to make my mark. My budding school band director career came to a screeching halt when I found myself in a difficult first year teaching situation in a small town following a band director who had retired after teaching there for 40 years. Ugh! What a horrid experience!

I left area of public school teaching and refocused on performance.

It's ironic that, after all these years of avoiding the classroom, I'm focusing my efforts on teaching again. I'm recruiting private guitar students, and in another couple months, I'll be offering guitar classes at Tessitura. For starters, I'll offer a class for adult beginners and another for young beginners. Once those classes are finished, I'll be able to continue offering beginners' classes, as well as a Guitar II class for those who completed the beginner's course.

I'm not sure when it happened, but lately I've realized that teaching is one of my favorite things. Maybe I just needed some life experience. Maybe I needed to find a way to teach on my own terms rather than be part of a school system. Whatever the reason, I'm happy that I found my teaching mojo again.

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