Hi! I'm Mike and playing music, guitar, and teaching others how to do the same is one of the things I am most passionate about! I took guitar lessons for most of my teenage years on through college, graduated from SUNY Albany as a double major in Communication and Music and I have been playing guitar for about 25 years now. I'm a big nerd at heart, so I'm always trying to improve my skills and learn something new that I can then pass on to my students.
I have been teaching private guitar lessons full time at Rocky's Music Studio in North Greenbush NY to students of all ages who have interests in many different styles (rock, blues, jazz, country, pop, etc.) for about the last 15 years. I also do guitar repairs at the studio and work with the students at Rocky's in preparation for quarterly concerts we host every year at various venues around the capital region.
While I am happy to work with anyone, at any age, for any goal, I particularly enjoy working with younger students. Seeing students come into the studio to start lessons and then watching them grow and mature over the years not only into great musicians, but great young adults by the time they leave to go to college is a great experience. Knowing that they not only received a great education but had a lot of fun doing it, and that I played a positive part in their overall development as a person is a great feeling!
Education vs. Fun...are they mutually exclusive?
The short answer to this question is "No."
Lessons can and should be both educational and fun at the same time. On the one hand, you should be learning music theory, proper technique, training your ear, learning how to read music, how to play scales and chords, etc. Acquired skills such as these allow musicians to express themselves more fully and understand and appreciate the music they enjoy on a deeper level. They also allow a musician to learn to play the music they enjoy with more fluidity and greater ease. Without learning or sharpening some of these skills as you go along, you will often feel "stuck" or "in a rut".
However, we can't get too busy learning new skills and ideas and forget that playing music and learning an instrument is supposed to be enjoyable and fun. We need to apply the skills we are learning and to focus on learning or creating music that we really enjoy and, if we are interested, maybe even share this experience with other musicians by playing together in a band or group setting. Without making time for these kinds of activities, we can quickly become bored or even stressed out.
It's not just about "fun" or just "education". It's about both. Lessons shouldn't be thirty minutes of boring torture just working on skills. At the same time, lessons shouldn't be devoted to learning just songs. It's about balance, about walking out of your lesson feeling like you've just learned something new that you can apply while having fun doing it.
Through the lessons, classes, and performance opportunities that we offer, I seek to give you and/or your son, or daughter a good, comprehensive, and well-rounded education, but not at the expense of having fun. It's important to learn to read music and not just TAB. But it's also important to play your favorite songs if that's what is most fun and enjoyable to you!
Finally, I treat each student as a unique individual. Every student has a different personality, different likes and dislikes when it comes to the types of music they enjoy listening to and playing, what skills they are interested in learning, etc. For this reason, no two students can be taught in exactly the same manner. In the beginning, we will focus on building good foundational skills, but past a certain point, the path is up to the student and wherever their interest takes them! One student may want to become proficient in music theory and apply those skills to songwriting, whereas another may want to become a great lead guitarist. Still others may want to study a certain style of music in depth, become a great fingerpicker, or maybe just get as comprehensive an education as possible to prepare to go to college for music. Whatever your goal(s) may be, I would love the opportunity to help you reach them!
Thank you so much for checking out my website! If you are interested in lessons or have any questions, you can get in contact with me by filling out the form on this page. Alternatively, you can also reach me at the e-mail and phone number listed below.
Rocky's Music Studio
564 Bloomingrove Dr
Rensselaer, NY 12144