The day I became a guitar teacher.


For most of my life, I thought I wanted to be a high school English teacher, and playing guitar was just a hobby. Good classroom teachers are so badly needed, and I thought I could be a great one. But I quit teaching after three years of waking up with a knot in my stomach every morning, and spending Christmas vacations grading papers while the rest of my family went ice skating and ate figgy pudding. In photos from that period, I look like Rick Ocasek with a head cold.


The Early Years

Without a career goal for the first time since I was 14, I spent a couple years as Seattle’s worst handyman, installing doggie doors that didn’t open and fences that fell down. But at the same time, I was pursuing passions I’d neglected when I started teaching. One of those passions was playing in a rock band. I was in rehearsal one day, complaining to my bandmates about the terrible job I was doing painting a house, and the singer, who teaches guitar for a living, said, “Hey man, you should teach guitar.”

BING! In life there are a few pivotal moments, when the earth spins under our feet, sometimes without us noticing, and we march in a completely new direction. This was the day I found my path.

My Work

I’ve been teaching guitar in Seattle, WA since 2003. I specialize in teaching beginners and young children, some as young as 4 years old. Twice a year my students perform in a rowdy student recital called the Coffee Shop Jam. As you can see by the videos, they always have fun, and occasionally go viral.

I split my time between teaching private lessons and developing heartwoodguitar.com. It’s gratifying to know that while I might just teach four or five private students in a day, I’m also teaching thousands of visitors online.

Lessons and Rates

I teach private and group lessons from my home in Seattle and can sometimes make house calls. Want to get on my waitlist? READ ON

Kid- and Adult-Friendly

I love teaching both kids and adults at a variety of skill levels, with a focus on beginning and intermediate guitarists. READ ON

Guitar = Fun

My philosophy is pretty simple: People learn guitar best when they’re playing music they love. So we’ll focus on the musical genres you like most. READ ON

Credentials

I’ve played guitar for 25 years. And I’ve been teaching for years: first as a high school teacher, and now (more happily) as a guitar teacher. READ ON

Located in Seattle

I teach lessons from a beautiful Teaching Studio space behind my home in the Ballard area of Seattle. READ ON

Student Recordings

My students constantly amaze me. I love hearing them play and I bet you will, too. GIVE A LISTEN

Coffee Shop Jams

Twice a year, my students get together to play their hearts out in a fun, relaxed environment. Check out these videos, MP3s and photos. GO