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Dennis D.

Guitar, Music Composition, Music Theory

Garland, TX (75046)

Travel radius
20 miles
Hourly fee
Background check passed as of 11/5/12
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Greetings. My name is Dennis D. I've taught guitar privately for over fourteen years to students of all ages and skill levels. I hold a degree in music composition from the University of North Texas, with a minor in music theory. I was a working musician in the greater Los Angeles area for over five years, and recently relocated to the Dallas area. I genuinely love not only being a part of a student's success, but also finding the best approach to achieve that success. As a musician, I find all aspects of music and sound to truly be the greatest avenues of passion and discovery in life. In addition to being an accomplished music tutor, I love to tutor in the areas of English grammar and reading comprehension. I believe the quickest path to success is to find a mode of enjoyment and even play in the subject which is giving trouble to the student. There are literally endless avenues for finding enjoyment in learning. It would be my hope that a student could ultimately see the challenge, and view success to be theirs for the taking. Thanks for your consideration.

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Dennis’s subjects

Corporate Training:
English, Reading
Elementary Education:
Grammar, Reading
English, Grammar, Reading

Composition (Music)

I completed my Bachelor's degree in music composition from the University of North Texas, where I had the privilege to study under contemporary music greats as Dr. Cindy McTee and Dr. John Malia. I have over 18 years experience in guitar, piano, and vocal performance, and have written and performed in classical, jazz, and pop settings, and have participated in Latin and African percussion ensembles as well. Shortly after finishing my studies at UNT, I relocated to the Los Angeles area to pursue a career in film composition. I have composed for seven film projects, three art exhibitions, and arranged music for several local musicians. Most recently and on the recommendation of a close friend, I have composed and recorded an album of instrumental music, which is intended for use by various therapy markets. Recording and score samples can be made available upon request.
Composition of academic music, or Western 'classical' music is a broad and nearly unending study and discipline. In it's most basic sense, it is a process of discovering how pitches, rhythms, timbres, and dynamics work together. From that process, a composer creates musical phrases and in turn, complete musical ideas. Learning correct notation and/or instruction practices are crucial in that they allow performers to execute and interpret a piece of music with as high a degree of clarity as possible without confusion and/or disfunction. The study of notation, even within the primary accepted language, is constantly evolving to meet the demands of modern performance practices and the use of technology. It would be of utmost importance to me to help you create scores that communicate with great clarity your intentions for the performer.
Of course, without the ability to listen to, process, and analyze music, it is doubtful that the intentions of a composer can ever be realized. Aural disciplines will allow a composer to truly make the leap from imagination to notation. The more these aural skills are combined with the other musical studies, the more limitations to a composer's intentions will be eliminated.
Depending on your level or place as a composer, I am able to help with score preparation and inspection, creating helpful drilling practices, listening practices, and of course, working through ideas.
Additionally, the umbrella of composition includes studies in instrumentation and performance practices, melody, harmony, counterpoint, orchestration, music history, form, and theory. If help is desired for any of these specific subjects, I'm happy to provide tutoring for them as well.

Ear Training

I personally love ear training and love helping people connect music theory concepts with listening and dictation applications. The ability to take the concepts of theory and apply them to listening does not come naturally to most people. It takes a lot of specific practice and drilling. Ear training is generally broken up into categories of rhythm and pitch. In order to transfer skills to real musical situations, phrase memory and dictation practices should be put into play as soon as basic concepts are grasped. Music becomes so much more powerful when it can be not only heard but understood.


Whether it's grammar, figurative language concepts, poetry, or vocabulary, I feel very confident in my ability to teach and tutor the English language up to the expert level (K-12). My English courses in high school were always advanced placement, and I began tutoring fellow students struggling in English in college. Language is so important to every part of thought and social order. In English, my goal for a student is to take concepts from foreign to organic, one concept at a time.

General Music

As a trained composer, I'm quite confident in my ability to teach general concepts in music, ranging from fundamentals of theory, beginning piano and voice studies, general music history, and much more. I'm also an avid student of jazz, pop, folk, and ethnic styles of music, and am able to switch gears in tutoring from Western 'classical' music to said styles with ease. I've taught general music to anyone from young children to adults in their 60s. Let me know how I can help!


I've been playing guitar for 17 years, performing professionally for 15 years, and instructing guitar for 14 years. While in college, I studied primarily classical and jazz styles, and my composition studies lead me to add avant garde and experimental approaches to my playbook. My students have ranged from ages 8 to 65, and have varied from beginner to advanced skill levels. Every student and learning situation is different, so whether it is teaching chords, scales, theory, picking and fingerpicking techniques, tone and/or dynamic improvement, music reading, slide playing, alternate tuning experimentation, or just learning tunes, I'm determined to find the right method for you. My areas of style expertise include pop, avant garde, rock, r & b, blues, classical, jazz, country, rockabilly, folk, and fingerstyle and anything in between. In addition to standard acoustic, electric, and nylon string guitar, I also play and teach lap steel and bass guitar.

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University of North Texas (Music Composition)

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $50.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

Dennis will travel within 20 miles of Garland, TX 75043.

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