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I can help you make this most fascinating and mysterious instrument your own! When you feel comfortable playing, you practice more, learn more, and have more fun. Beginning lessons focus on finding easy ways to get around a guitar, learning songs you like, and understanding basic music theory through familiar examples. As you advance, I can guide you to explore the possibilities of the fingerboard, learn to arrange and compose music, and open up your playing with improvisation while maintaining a natural connection to the music. From the start, I promote learning by ear; I encourage students to learn to read music, but only impose it if the student wishes it (or a parent asks.)
I teach at my home in Park Slope, Brooklyn, or at your home. All skill levels are accepted. I recommend that children be at least 8 years old to begin guitar lessons.
A bit about me: I have studied and played guitar from the age of 8. My father was a professional bassist; in recent years I have followed his lead and now am playing jazz and orchestral double bass (for which studying guitar was an excellent preparation.) I play and teach both acoustic and electric guitar in the following styles: Classical, folk, rock/blues, jazz, bossa nova. While I studied classical harmony, music history and composition at Smith College, my guitar training has been only with private teachers. I am currently studying with the legendary jazz player Gene Bertoncini, and include some of his creative concepts in my teaching.
I have worked as a graphic designer and studio artist at New York publishing, advertising and marketing for over 15 years. Transitioning from PageMaker, Interleaf and QuarkXpress to the current industry standard of Adobe InDesign, I gained an in-depth understanding of the workings of layout software; as a tutor, this gives me an advantage in being able to explain desktop publishing concepts in a variety of ways. Since 2010, I have used InDesign exclusively to lay out CD packages, ads, posters, and publications. I now work with CS6 InDesign.
Ear training was part of the music curriculum at Smith College, where I studied harmony, tonal analysis and composition. Since 1998, I have worked as a jazz bassist in the New York area. Jazz musicians more often play popular standards by ear than by sight-reading; because of this, my ear training is continually being put to practical use. I teach interval recognition as an essential skill for my intermediate students.
I am a liberal arts graduate of Smith College with honors, Phi Beta Kappa.
At Smith College, I studied music theory, tonal analysis, harmony, counterpoint and composition for a total of two years. Starting in 2004, I studied classical bass technique with David Grossman and Orin O'Brien of the New York Philharmonic. I joined the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra in 2007, and I am currently the principal of the double bass section. I have taught guitar privately since 1992; I currently study with Gene Bertoncini.
I studied classical guitar starting at the age of 8, and moved on to electric guitar at 13. My teacher was Havard "Hap" Smith, who enabled me to begin playing with musicians of my father's generation in pop/rock bands when I was 14. In my twenties I met the nylon-string jazz guitar virtuoso Gene Bertoncini, and following his example I began work on solo nylon-string arrangements. I currently study with Gene, who is recognized as one of the great living masters of his genre. I have taught guitar privately since 1992, and I use Gene's "horizontal-vertical" approach for navigating the fretboard when working with intermediate students. Even with beginners I use his methods to help them identify moving voices in changing chords. The point is to help students train their ears and get beyond "grips", block chords and patterns to bring more musical depth and versatility to the guitar.
I studied voice for 2 years in Los Angeles with classically-trained singer Judith Vaccaro, who taught me fundamentals of breath control, sound production and sight-singing. In New York, I continued voice work with acting coach Mark Zeller. In his classes Mark used Kristin Linklater's book Freeing the Natural Voice, a remarkable resource that goes beyond vocal training to help students discover their unique vocal identity. I draw on her work and principles every time I sing (or speak in public, for that matter.) I have put my training to use in my professional life as a bassist and guitarist, singing backup and occasional solo performances.
A thoughtful and attentive tutor — Patient, thoughtful, attentive. As a teacher, Stephanie has the qualities desired by any musician and improviser, namely, the ability to listen, be attuned to the situation/student, and to offer the appropriate response/guidance. As an adult learner, returning to musical instruction after many years, I presented Stephanie with a unique challenge. Through several months of lessons, she's appraise ...
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