Don L.

Gaithersburg, MD


I open doors in History, English, and Music

In-person lessons


Send a message explaining your needs and Don will reply soon.

Response time:

Contact Don

College of Wooster
yes, 6/1980
University of Md
Graduate Coursework


College of Wooster (History)

yes, 6/1980 (Other)

University of Md (Graduate Coursework)

About Don

Hello, my name is Don L. I majored in history and minored - almost a double major- in music, then did more graduate work in history (this work was done at the College of Wooster and the University of Maryland). Along the way, I acquired an excellent grasp of English. These are all passions of mine and have always been. My historical knowledge is extensive; though I generally stop around 1918, I do have some knowledge up through 1963. Musically, I have a huge collection of Classical recordings, and have composed a good bit. I have also a fair knowledge of the Bible, English literature, ancient Greek, etc. I have not taught except informally, but have always wanted to do so.
To me, these subjects are all inter-related and necessary to literacy, which is itself necessary to rational decision making in life. I would have my students see through my eyes and hear through my ears while they develop their own talents and abilities in these areas. To take two examples: First, history, if taught properly, is more entertaining and exciting - to say nothing of instructive - than a tabloid. Second, Music and our English language both demand to be savored, not simply picked apart as if on a dissecting table. Those two statements provide a nutshell summary of my views on the subjects and on the teaching of them. In other words, it isn't enough for me if a student simply passes a test; I would want him/her to walk away with at least a kernel of permanent enrichment.
Hello, my name is Don L. I majored in history and minored - almost a double major- in music, then did more graduate work in history (this work was done at the College of Wooster and the University of Maryland). Along the way, I Read more

24 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 20 miles of Gaithersburg, MD 20878
In-person lessons
Bible Studies,
Literature, Reading,
Vocabulary, Writing
American History,
European History, Geography,
Music History,
Social Studies, World History
Elementary Education:
Spelling, Vocabulary

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

American History

My major passion and area of study, since childhood, has been history. This includes American history; in that area I am well-versed through about 1929, a bit sketchier through 1963, and have my own experience to draw on after that. I follow a personal view of history rather than a socio-economic, but I don't neglect the latter. As to paper credentials, I have a B.A. in history and did all the work for an M.A. except the thesis, so any student of mine will be well trained.

Bible Studies

I have studied the New Testament in the original and also read the Septuagint in Greek. I have read several different translations of the Bible, including that by Richmond Lattimore. I have some familiarity with the theological issues separating denominations and connected with the Reformation. Finally, I have also some knowledge of Church Fathers and commentaries.


My area of expertise in history was the ancient world, which of course includes Greece and Rome. I never studied Latin but managed to pick up a bit from history and music, as well as a paleography class I took in graduate school. As for Greek, I took several courses in Classical, Koine, and Homeric Greek as an undergraduate and one or two in Classical as a graduate student. I am familiar with many of the ancient writers and have some acquaintance with their translators as well.

Composition (Music)

I have played violin and piano, the latter mostly self-taught. I have played in orchestras and sung in choirs. I have studied music theory and composition while in college. I have composed over 100 works, a few of which have been performed. I have exposed myself to many works of the period 1550-1900, including Broadway as an addition. This includes all genres as well. I also have near-perfect pitch.


I am a fluent native speaker. I learned grammar at home before ever going to school and then refined my knowledge later. I am an avid reader, especially of the classics (such as Byron, Shakespeare, Austen, and Dickens), and I have done a fair bit of private writing as well, most recently a family history. At work and, before that, in school, I was often asked for help by native speakers with proper grammar, spelling, and phrasing.

General Music

I have listened to an extensive collection of all genres of Classical music. I have performed in orchestras up through college and sung in choirs and choruses from my teens into adulthood. I have self-taught myself basic piano playing. I have composed and arranged/transcribed, and a few of these pieces have been performed. I have studied music theory and composition as an undergraduate. I am familiar with music history and aesthetics, to the latter of which I have given a good deal of thought.


Geographical knowledge is essential to the proper study of history. It is also increasingly indispensable as the globe shrinks. I have learned over many years the various borders, ethnicities, and so on, that make up the planet. I have studied extensively Europe and the Middle East, and also have great familiarity with the Americas. This includes linguistic, religious, economic, and political elements.


A voracious reading habit is the best way to absorb grammar, and I have read since before first grade (some 50+ years now). There is little about proper grammar, usage, and spelling that I do not know. I learned first from my mother, for whom English was a second language of sorts. I went on to read many of the classics, and also serious works of history and the like.

Music History

My knowledge of music history was picked up from many sources. Some came through orchestral performance (including operetta). Some came directly from history classes, though not much. Some came from my music theory and composition courses as an undergraduate. The bulk came from extensive reading on my part, of encyclopedias (including Grove's), biography, record jackets (I have an extensive collection), etc. Also, listening to the works themselves is a great aid in understanding their histories. My knowledge spans the entire period from about 1100 to about 1920, including most everything from the troubadours through Bach, Mozart, and Verdi, to Lehar and Joplin. I also have some knowledge of the music of the ancient world. My knowledge of the 20th century is less extensive, as I have little sympathy for much of it, but I have some familiarity with the major composers and their ideas, and also with musical theater composers (from Kern and Rodgers to Emmerich Kalman).


I read voraciously and have done so since I was at least six years old. I have read many of the classics, technical and serious works (science, history, theology, music, etc.), and a wide range of lighter fare in many categories. As a result, my grammar and spelling are first-rate, my speed, comprehension, and retention are excellent, and my writing ability and style - including handwriting - are superb. I can impart a great deal of ability to a prospective student.


Writing and reading are closely related skills. I read voraciously and always have; I was on a ninth grade level between 3rd and 4th grades. I also learned to form letters, both print and cursive, and have developed my handwriting since. My grasp of English phrasing is superb (not to sound immodest), as are my spelling and grammatical skills.

College of Wooster
yes, 6/1980
University of Md
Graduate Coursework


College of Wooster (History)

yes, 6/1980 (Other)

University of Md (Graduate Coursework)

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $50.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

Don will travel within 20 miles of Gaithersburg, MD 20878.