Workshop

Music is a language. You already know many of the words – you probably even sing along. But to really speak the language, you need to use the words to make sentences, sentences to write paragraphs and paragraphs to tell a story.

If I had a dollar for every person who told me they couldn’t sing or play an instrument, I could retire now and move to the islands. I believe everyone can sing and anyone can play an instrument.

There are many barriers, the most common being fear. The second most common is the unwillingness to take the time to learn. Unfortunately, many people give up early on for a variety of reasons, ranging from being teased to bad teaching methods.

I’m looking for the opportunity to work with a few people in small groups to show them that they can sing and play music. They may never become rock stars, but hopefully they will feel comfortable playing for friends and family – or just enjoying the ability to make music for themselves.

Why do I believe I can do this? I have had both formal training in piano and learned guitar and other instruments mainly by ear. I’ve slugged it out, starting as a street performer, playing open mics and many, many bars, coffee shops and restaurants. I’ve played in and led several bands and performed with, I would guess, well over a hundred musicians.

More importantly, I have read a number of insightful books that have opened doors for me. I have approached music not only as a player, but as an artist, a photographer, a writer, a performer and a constant student. I have learned that, because I know how to speak the language of music, I can – and have – sit in with bands in Alaska, Atlanta, Cleveland or Vermont – and teach them my songs on the fly and follow what they are playing. I know that often it’s more important to listen than play and that every time you play or sing you get better.

I am putting together a curriculum that will challenge students to approach music in a new way and empower them to overcome preconceived notions of what music is and how it is played. By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to play multiple instruments and feel more comfortable using their voice and an instrument. They will be able to “speak” with other musicians in a way that enables them to sit-in with musicians with more experience than themselves and play along.

This is not magic. It’s a case of approaching a problem from a new angle and learning to leave doubt at the door. Will it be easy? No. Will you get frustrated? Definitely. Is it worth is? Absolutely.

If you are interested, and serious about giving this a try, please send me an email with your name and contact information, a really brief blurb on your past music experience and why you want to take this workshop. Give me a line or two on why I should invest my time in you. Then think about and include what you would be willing to pay for a once a week, 90-minute experimental and experiential class. You do not have to own an instrument, (but it wouldn’t hurt). This workshop is for adults and will take place in my home studio in Rutland. Include any questions or concerns you have in the email.

I will pick only a few people to start, so that I can test out some of the methods I plan on using and devote my energy to this first group. Do not worry about what level others might be in your group. Since I will not be spending a lot of time teaching in a traditional manner, it should be new to everyone.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site and read this rambling description. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

email me at: georgeshamelesspromo@gmail.com