My musical journey started at the ripe age of eleven. My Mom bought me a cheap six string guitar for Christmas and forced me to take lessons. I was skeptical at first, but it only took one C chord and I was hooked. Apparently, Mom really does know best. Since then, the guitar has played an integral role in my life.
I got my first performance experience as a young high school student, sitting in at local blues jams–trial by fire! I played in a couple garage rock bands with friends. We were pretty bad, but those were great times.
As I got older, my musical tastes matured. I wanted to know more than just the blues scale, so I decided to pursue a degree in music. I spent one year at Gonzaga University, studying classical guitar with Dr. Paul Grove and jazz improvisation with David Fague. Afterwards, I transferred to the University of Oregon School of Music to focus on fingerstyle and jazz guitar with Don Latarski. I graduated in 2012 with a B.A. in guitar performance.
These days, I play around town in a variety of settings. I especially enjoy solo acoustic guitar, backing up a singer, or jamming out with bluesy funk/rock groups.
I love teaching possibly even more than I love playing. Throughout my schooling I always made time for my own students. Most of them were beginners, which I especially enjoy working with. In the spring of 2011, I helped restart a guitar program at the Looking Glass Center for youth in crisis, teaching weekly group lessons.
My teaching philosophy is pretty simple. Although theory and chops are important, I believe that learning guitar should be centered around having fun, learning songs, and using your ears. Personally, some of the most important lessons I learned from guitar really had nothing to do with music at all. As Santana said, “music is a compliment to life.”
I am stoked to be a part of Youth Music Project, and look forward to exploring the guitar with all of my students!