Lessons are given at a rate of $45 for a one hour lesson, or $25 for a half hour lesson. Since the amount of information one is able to absorb during a lesson is directly related to the amount of time spent applying that information (through practice) outside the lesson, shorter lesson times are recommended for younger and beginning students. Once progress has been made covering the basic aspects of technique, a shift to longer lesson times can be made.
It should be noted that different subject areas are certainly not exclusive. A student may wish to study guitar in order to become a better songwriter, with a final goal of learning how to create more complex arrangements of songs for demo or recording purposes. The following is a breakdown of the various components of the teaching studio:
- Guitar lessons focus primarily on finger style and electric guitar technique. Regardless of musical style, lessons will involve discussion of everything from correct hand placement and finger motion, to improvisation, to more musical concerns such as tone and dynamics. Since a basic understanding of music theory is essential to expanding one's potential as a player, some part of each lesson will focus on informing the student's knowledge of this fundamental musical component. Consequently, students are expected to spend a certain amount of each week's practice time learning how to apply theoretical concepts learned in the lesson to their own musical endeavors.
- Lessons in composition are intended for students who are interested in expanding their own palette of creative techniques. Discussions about form, process, variation, and other components of musical construction will be foremost. Students are required to bring works in progress to lessons every week to be discussed in a workshop type context. A knowledge and desire to work with some sort of musical notation is a requirement, whether it is in the form of traditional musical notation, graphical notation, or charts.
- Instruction in music theory will focus primarily on aspects of traditional, western harmonic practice, with an emphasis on how these constructs apply to the musical style in which the student is most interested. Depending upon the students level, lessons in theory can focus on everything from scale and chord construction to complex formal and harmonic analysis.
- Lessons in song writing are similar to lessons in composition, but focus primarily on elements of song form. As in composition, elements of form, variation, and contrast are discussed, and students are expected to bring works in progress to lessons every week to be discussed and performed in a workshop type situation.
- Lessons in arranging and orchestration are designed to teach students how to think beyond the scope of their chosen instrument, whether it be a complex harmonic instrument such as guitar or piano, to single line instruments such as trumpet or violin. Lessons will involve learning about the characteristics and techniques inherent in the different families of instruments (strings, brass, winds, percussion) with an emphasis on how to choose appropriate instruments for an arrangement and an understanding of the technical resources required to make them work together as a group.
- Lessons in Music Technology focus on basic tenets of audio recording, editing, and mixing with a computer software platform such as Pro Tools LE. In addition to audio production, basic instruction in MIDI implementation is also offered. All lessons in music technology are taught from my studio in Brooklyn, and can certainly be given in tandem (and in order to enhance) other areas of instruction, such as song writing, composition, arranging, etc.