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.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Furry Friends

In my private teaching practice, I travel to each student's house to give lessons in guitar, ukulele, piano, or music theory. Teaching is a joy, but an added bonus is meeting the pets. Here are some of the furry friends I get to meet every week.

Cooper the giant poodle.

First up is Cooper, an extremely friendly poodle. It's hard to tell from this angle, but Cooper is really tall. I'm 6'2", and I don't have to bend down to pet him.

Karma, all bark and no bite.

Next is Karma, a black lab mix. Karma is all bark and no bite. Whenever I ring the doorbell, Karma barks and barks. When my student's mom opens the door, Karma still barks and barks, which is her way of showing that she's happy to see me (or anyone else who walks through the door). Once the lesson starts, Karma curls up nearby. If she sits close enough, she gets an occasional scratch during lessons.

Knox, friend to all.

Knox is another black lab. Knox thrives on attention. I'm his best friend until somebody else walks through the door. During lessons, Knox will sometimes butt in, just to let us know he is available if we would like to scratch his ears.

Miso, the dog-like cat.

Miso is a cat with the soul of a dog. He actually seems more dog-like than the dogs in the house. Unlike most cats, Miso will come when you call him. Miso will sometimes try to climb into a lap, regardless of the fact that we are each holding a guitar.

Pepper, shaggy and elusive.
Pepper is Miso's "brother." Pepper is the big, blurry dog. I never remember the other one's name. I've known Pepper for at least 6 years, but he doesn't generally let people touch him. It's only been in the last year the Pepper has let me pet him. I am honored.

I'm Poppy, pet me!
Poppy loves attention. If I accidentally make eye contact with Poppy during a lesson, he'll be in my face, wanting to be pet. While I'm playing guitar, he'll sometimes poke his head between my left arm and the guitar neck. Notice that Poppy's tail is blurry in this picture. His tail is usually in motion.

I've decided you're okay.
Now pet me.
I don't see Rio often, but he got in toward the end of this lesson. Because he doesn't see me often, he's still not sure about me. Once he decides I'm okay, he's just fine with an ear scratch.

Rosie, world's friendliest dog.
And finally, here's Rosie, possibly the world's friendliest dog. Rosie greets me at the door, and then immediately flops over for a belly rub. During lessons, she sits on the couch with my student, well within petting range of both of us.

So those are most of the critters on my route. I'm adding several students to my roster this month. I'm looking forward to meeting more furry friends.

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