Hello — thanks for considering me as a tutor!
The two main areas I tutor in are Music and Language — please see the description appropriate to your learning needs below.
I earned a PhD in Music (2011), an MA in Ethnomusicology (2007), and a BA in Music Composition (1996) from the University of California Santa Barbara, and have taught both Western music and Middle Eastern music theory and instruments for many years now, including at UCSB, California Institute of the Arts, and Westmont College. I have also been a composer since the 1990s, both privately and for the movie trailer industry through Cinetrax in Hollywood (cinetrax.com). I have played guitar, electric bass, and mandolin for 40 years in classical, jazz, folk, and blues styles, and use them often as instruments for recording and composition, as well as teaching how to play them. I also play and teach the Middle Eastern oud (the grandfather of the lute, and for that matter, of the guitar) and a few other instruments from Turkey and the eastern Mediterranean.
I really love the combination of technical mastery, intellectual know-how, and personal expression that playing music brings together, and my teaching method relies on a balanced mix of gradually strengthening these three elements.
I am happy to teach music literacy as well, but personally I think that it is better to get it in your ears and fingers and voice first (after all, when you learned how to write "cat" you already knew what a cat was ... it can be confusing to learn the thing *and* a representational system for the thing at the same time) — and of course many musicians express themselves perfectly well without reading music so I don't insist that my students learn it. (I admit that it took me a while, but can also say that in the long run, for a musician it's as useful as being as literate as you are in your first language.)
That said, I'm happy to teach sight reading and ear training as well as reading and writing music, music theory, composition, improvisation, or just plain playing a plucked string instrument.
I really enjoy teaching music and seeing people connect these skills with their own personal sense of creativity — I hope you will consider contacting me for music lessons of any kind, at any age — thanks!
I also worked for many years as a translator/interpreter in Spanish (and a little in French, Portuguese, and Italian as well), having learned these languages living in South America as a young man. Part of this work experience was in the Research and Development Department of "Inglés Sin Barreras" (Lexicon Marketing Corp.) — the largest company in the world for English as a Second Language learning products made specifically for Spanish speakers.
I am thus able to teach both English as a Second Language as well as the Spanish language, and to do editing and proof-reading in these and the above languages, as well as for documents in English.
I have taught ESL to both children and adults.
Having done research as an ethnomusicologist in Turkey over the last dozen years, I am also able to teach introductory Turkish language skills, including a quick "Turkish for Travelers" course.
Being a scholar in the humanities also means I have a lot of experience both writing and improving other people's writing — happy to help!
Learning languages is practical and smart, and can even be — surprise! — fun; thank you for considering me as a language tutor, translator/interpreter, editor, or proofreader!
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