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FOR PLAYERS WHO HAVE REACHED THE LEVEL EQUIVALENT TO ROYAL CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC GRADE 4 THROUGH 7
Maybe you are longing to explore new horizons and need a guide to introduce you to new ideas and possibilities. Your passion for music is still growing—in spite of the setbacks and frustrations—and you have a strong desire to take that next step and raise your game to another level. You're excited about the possibilities but you just don't know how to get there. Perhaps you have tried to tackle some particularly difficult pieces of repertoire, but you know you lack the technique and training to play at a very high level. You don't want to lose that spirit and pace of improvement that you had at the beginning stages but you have pretty much exhausted all the resources at your disposal. Yet you keep asking yourself, how do you reach that next level? How do I play at a higher standard that you know you are capable of?
You may be feeling a bit frustrated with your lack of progress as of late. Perhaps you feel a bit restricted because you're limited by your lack of understanding of how music works. Your basics are essentially in place but you have not developed the technical freedom to support your creativity and imagination. Some days it just feels like you're banging your head up against a glass ceiling. At this point, you are feeling a bit discouraged and it is becoming more difficult to maintain the same eagerness and passion to improve and you need a guide to help you get to that next level in your development.
Whether you play for your own personal enjoyment, want to take Royal Conservatory of Music exams, or interested preparing yourself for studies at a conservatory, we can create a plan to make it happen. I help emerging classical and acoustic guitarists, like yourself, find and develop your artistic voice and realise your true artistic potential.
I would be happy to meet with you to learn more about your interests and aspirations, assess where you are at in your musical and technical development, technique, and aural skills. We can then explore what options best meet your musical needs and interests.
If you need more information or have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or if you are ready to jump in, simply click on the link below to schedule your free consultation and let's establish a plan for you moving forward.
I ENJOY WORKING WITH ALL AGES AND LEVELS . . .
If you are a parent interested in giving your son or daughter the lifetime gift of making music and bringing joy to themselves and those around them, find out more about music lessons for your child here.
If you are new to the guitar (or maybe have tried to teach yourself or taken an online course but haven't made much progress) and you really want to establish a solid foundation on which to build your musical interests on, start here.
If you have acquired a certain level of musicianship, music reading skills, and technical proficiency (equivalent to RCM grade 3 - 7) but lack the training to tackle the repertoire you really want to learn to play, you can find out more here.
If you are an advanced student (equivalent to RCM grade 8 or above) and want to elevate your playing to that next level, or you're considering studying music at a university or conservatory and want to prepare yourself for post-secondary studies, you can find out more here!
“I have played guitar since I was young but I never progressed beyond novice. When I decided to get serious about improving I took various lessons but found that my progression was limited to learning a few new songs and my guitar playing skills remained the same. I always loved classical guitar and decided to start the Royal Conservatory guitar program. RCM referred me to Don and he immediately worked on my technique. No other guitar teacher had spent any time helping me improve my technique. In my first year of lessons, I spend a lot of time re-learning proper technique and then I started to improve and find playing guitar at a higher level was easier due to using proper technique. In addition to helping me with my guitar technique, Don he also has helped my creative and musical abilities. He knows exactly what I need to improve and helps me progress at my own pace. Before Don was my teacher, guitar practice was solely an act of discipline; after having Don as my instructor, I now find myself enjoying guitar practice and regularly lose track of time. Guitar has become a passion for me and I am living my guitar dream thanks to Don Hlus and the Fort Langley Guitar Studio.”
Mortgage Professional | Financial Planner | Classical Guitar Enthusiast
Lessons are one-on-one in order to give you the individual attention needed to develop your unique set of gifts as well as tailor your lessons to your needs and interests.
Lessons are once per week. However, the lesson is not where you "learn" to play the guitar. You learn to play the guitar in between your lessons. It is the work you do in between your lessons that determines your progress. The lesson is the opportunity for you to receive feedback on what you have been working on the past week. You also learn new techniques, studies, and repertoire. We discuss interpretation, develop your aural skills, ask questions, and exchange ideas. But the honing of skills, developing a deep understanding of new ideas and approaches, and the mastering of the skill is done outside the lesson. In other words, you must be prepared to devote time and energy to your craft in between lessons.
It is not about putting in a certain amount of time (otherwise we are simply watching the clock and not necessarily moving forward), it is about setting goals and putting in the time needed to achieve those goals.
Although my background and training comes from the classical tradition, where I help you learn to express yourself through many different styles of performance throughout the 400 year history of the guitar, I also enjoy helping you explore other genres of music related to the acoustic guitar, such as finger-style, jazz, Flamenco, and Celtic music, especially if those are styles you are interested in. I also studied fingerstyle jazz guitar, composition, arranging in another lifetime and relish the opportunity to help students learn to read and play jazz band charts. However, the core of my teaching is the music written for the classical guitar.
There is a place for online lessons but there are some disadvantages, especially for beginner and intermediate players. Because of the medium of the Internet, problems regarding tone production and the subtilties of articulation and phrasing really can't be addressed over the Internet. Furthermore, just having someone there to reposition your hand, arm, or body can facilitate change much more precisely and quickly. Finally, depending upon your equipment, the quality of online lessons can suffer because of problems with the Internet connection or speed.
Pre-recorded online videos are a great way to supplement in-person lessons but they are not a substitute for it. For starters, it is very easy to establish bad habits very quickly and undermine your future development because your progress is not being monitored. Similarly, the lack of face-to-face interactions means you can't ask questions nor receive feedback as to whether something is working or receive personalized instruction on how to correct the very thing that you are struggling with. Moreover, the inability to discuss different interpretations or exploring different solutions regarding your technique leaves a lot to be desired in terms of developing your musicianship. Finally, in-person lessons give you a structure that allows you to set weekly goals and be accountable with your time.
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