Home > Interview > How would you describe your teaching style?

How would you describe your teaching style?

I have been developing my teaching style and curriculum for years since I was in grad school teaching lessons in the Denton, Texas area. First and foremost my lessons are tailored to the individual student. Every human being is unique and has their own learning style, so it is necessary to teach in a concise way that each person can understand. As far as specifics go, I analyze each student at the first lesson to examine their strengths and weaknesses. Each student has to have mastered the basics. I start with open chords, barre chords in every key through the cycle of fourths and then move on to more advanced concepts such as seventh chords in all keys and in all of the five chord families. I also start with major scales in all keys with the most effective fingerings before moving on to all of the other scale types, often called modes, with a focus on being able to improvise with all scale types (since every solo in history has been based on and built from scales). I am a big fan of the Jamey Aebersold play along series when practicing improvisation because it instantly gets the students jamming along with a professional rhythm section. I also teach reading skills such as sight reading single notes and multiple notes, music theory foundations, composition, arranging and transcriptions. I also foster the learning and memorization of tunes in the different styles of music, including jazz, rock, blues, country and popular. In essence, I have developed an extremely well rounded and successful approach. Testament of this is that the vast majority of my students are out in the community playing in churches, middle school and high school jazz bands, and their own bands. I have had multiple students from my studio go on to major and minor in music in college. This year my studio boasts both the Middle School and High School All State Jazz Band Guitarists.
In your own words...

"I first heard Paul playing at a coffee house and was very impressed with his jazz playing skills. At his first break I asked him if he gave lessons and was glad to find out that he did and he had an opening... I signed up that same week and have been taking lessons for over a year. Paul has great technical ability; music theory; ear training and his mastery over the fretboard is unmatched from other teachers that I had in the past."

Elgin Foster