Tyler OakleafThere are few things that are as important to me as teaching, which is why I continue to teach despite having success in other areas of music. I feel it is my obligation to share the information that I’ve spent all too many hours decoding, reworking, tinkering with and synthesizing. I know first-hand the hard work, frustration, and toil it takes to attain a basic level of musical competence–and I would hate for anyone to needlessly suffer the way that I did when learning the craft.

For these reasons, I try my best to adhere to the following principles when I teach:

  1. Understanding
    –The most frustrating thing for myself as a young student was that I could physically play my instrument well, but I had no clue as to why I was playing the notes I was playing, beyond seeing them notated in the music.
    –Students who are having problems, or have reached a limit with their playing, or don’t practice–often get labeled as lazy or untalented: However, this is rarely the case. While contemporary music education tends to substitute repetition for substance, the key to many student’s advancement is being given the opportunity to lift the hood and be shown how the pieces fit together.
  2. De-mystifying & filtering of practical information
    –It’s hard to find good information on music, and as a result it is even harder to find people who understand it. Billy Joel, after an interviewer had referred to him as a “genius,” was famously quoted as saying “I am, as I’ve said, merely competent. But in an age of incompetence, that makes me extraordinary.” Thus, in my teaching I try to remove mystery, dogma, misinformation, and bad advice until you are left with nothing but naked facts, truths, and workable tools.
  3. Reality
    –A good quantity of my students go on to make decent livings in musical fields, but most don’t. It is possible to become a musician without living inside of a practice room, just as it is possible to become a millionaire and never break a bead of sweat doing manual labor. Hard work does pay off, but not without the knowledge to back it up, be it learned or intuitive. It’s OK that you’re not a musical robot. I want my students to come away from lessons with tools, not stress and workloads.
  4. Fulfillment
    Every website, of every teacher, ever… touts “having fun” as a core principle. True fun in music comes not from simply making noise, but from the joy, confidence and fulfillment that comes from having a command of the language.

If you’re interested in lessons please use the form to contact me and I’ll email or call you at my first opportunity. I have a rather fluid schedule but it does tend to fill up, as I have a nasty habit of over-extending myself from time to time, but currently there is no waiting list.

-Tyler