Meet Your Instructor

Who I Teach

I teach students ages 5-adult. I have experience teaching both kids and adults (music, sailing, English, and creative and nonfiction writing). I genuinely enjoy teaching beginners, and no prior music experience is required.

I teach at my studio in San Francisco and on Skype, and additionally make house calls within San Francisco for an additional traveling fee.


What I Teach

I specialize in teaching beginning and intermediate electric and acoustic guitar, developing personal style, and songwriting. I’ve worked with many “advanced beginners” who are interested in breaking through to a higher level of playing. I also teach beginning ukulele and mandolin.

Whether you want to learn a certain song, start writing your own, enjoy playing more, jam with friends, or wail at the upcoming talent show, I can help you reach your goals.

Guitar Lessons in San Francisco





  • BA in English (Writing), Politics and Government Minor, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA
  • Certified TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Business English teacher
  • University training in Music Theory, Composition, and Aural Skills

Music Experience

Early Guitar Days

Bygone guitar days with a bygone hairstyle

  • 20+ years of combined music experience and education
  • 13 years of guitar experience
  • 17 years of songwriting experience
  • 6 years of classical and ragtime piano training
  • 2 years of choral training

Additional Teaching Experience

  • 4 years instructing at Sailing Education Adventures, teaching beginning, intermediate, and racing sailing to students ages 8-adult
  • TESOL and Business English certified teacher
  • 10+ years offering writing assistance and tutoring
  • Writing tutor at


Teaching Philosophy


“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
— Albert Einstein

Music should be fun. It’s not something we “have to” do — we choose music because it enhances our lives. As both a student and a teacher I’ve found that learning is fastest when you enjoy the experience.

What makes it enjoyable? Small goals and challenges that stretch your abilities, but don’t feel overwhelming or frustrating. This combination of feeling competent while pushing your comfort zone is a great way to keep improving while enjoying yourself. It also generates a sense of progress that is incredibly motivating, especially when you see how far you’ve come in such a short time.

Getting good at any skill takes work, but as legendary guitarist Carlos Santana said, “When you love what you do, you don’t have to work a day in your life.” I’ve found that the best educators are knowledgeable, patient, and find ways of connecting the material to a student’s personal interests. I know if a student is smiling while they play, I’m doing my job correctly.

My teaching style is low-stress and flexible. Some students want to rocket to the height of guitar virtuosity, and others want to learn a few songs to strum around the campfire or at the office party. All goals are equally valid. I adjust my curriculum and material to each student’s goals, interests, and musical taste.

In my experience, great teachers do their best to light a spark of passion in each of their students. Luckily, learning a new song on the guitar is easier to get excited about than, say, non-Euclidian geometry.

Learning any new skill can be challenging, but if you’re motivated and enjoying yourself, you’ll progress naturally and easily—and have a lot of fun in the process.

Here are a few ways I’ll make it both fun and motivating:

Teaching What You Want to Learn

There’s no question that we learn better when we are interested. Whether you dream of shredding metal solos or writing a beautiful acoustic piece to perform for someone, I’ll teach to your music interests and goals.

Even if you’ve never thought of musical “goals”, I’ll work with you to develop a course that you’ll find fun and rewarding.

Making Noticeable Progress

Seeing yourself progress is incredibly motivating, and staves off the discouragement that comes from feeling “stuck”. By using well-chosen songs and exercises, I’ll make practicing more fun (and easier to remember to do).

Using other metrics, like speed/accuracy challenges and recording your playing, you’ll actually see how you’re improving over time.

Keeing It Interesting with Variety

We all tend to stay interested and learn faster in chunks of time with breaks in between. We also all have different ways of learning and understanding information. I make use of both of these facts in my lessons, teaching to different learning styles and covering all of the fundamentals.

Fun Challenges Within Your Grasp

Without challenges, we’d never improve at anything in life—but a challenge needs to be attainable to be motivating. I’ll give you individualized challenges, based on your ability, that are within your grasp. This will accelerate your progress and help you build confidence in your playing.

Honest and Constructive Feedback

Learning something new can be humbling, so I make a special effort to point out the things a student is doing well, and give non-judgmental, constructive feedback to help each student improve and meet their musical goals.

Above All, Keeping It Fun

Life is short, and music should be fun. I love playing the guitar and creating music, and I take that enthusiasm with me to each lesson. My main goal is to share that interest and love of music with my students, and help them discover it for themselves.

Continue to next page…