Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category:

Elaine Lakeman, Jazz Singer Turns Pro

Elaine Lakeman has been taking voice coaching, guitar lessons, and singing with our Women's Choir for the last few years. Last summer she talked to her coach, Lloyd English about recording an album and performing, and they decided to record an album of classic songs that span several genres, from blues to jazz to pop. Here is an interview with Elaine for ... Read More

How To Practice

How To Practice For the Student and Parent Practicing requires as much physical work as it does mental work and this holds especially true for the guitar. When you practice you are not only teaching your fingers to do things they haven’t done before but you are also learning a new instrument and language while at the same time teaching your ears to he... Read More

The Guitar Player and the Church – A Story

I was leading a group of about 8 amateur musicians during a church confirmation service and we were all neatly and tightly tucked and barely able to fit ourselves into the tiny choir loft space that was mostly taken up by an old dusty organ. From this lofty position there was a full unobstructed and suspended view of the proceedings below as if we had box se... Read More

How Chords are Constructed and Related

Are you at that place where you have learned a bunch of chord pictures but you have no idea how they fit together and if they do and why?  If so this read might help you to understand some of the mechanics of music.  I have a mantra that I keep repeating to all my students and it is: "Chords come from scales". This simple idea is intrinsic to how our sy... Read More

There Are No Shortcuts

This weekend we had our end of the year student recital and as always it was fun and entertaining to watch and listen to the performances and the personalities and observe their progress.   It never ceases to amaze me how different each student is and how despite these differences music has the capacity to open up a voice of expression for each one of them...
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Learning To Speak The Language Of Music

I taught my first music lessons at the age of 17 at a pop up music school called ABC Music Studios in Vancouver.   I remember the "studios" were dingy and dark with draw curtains separating one space from another. There was virtually no expectation on the part of the management regarding the necessary qualifications for their teachers.  At that time, my r... Read More