Alex has been teaching guitar for the past six years in Portland and in NYC before that. He especially loves teaching beginners and uses a variety of styles including pop, rock, and jazz to help students create a strong foundation to build on. Alex began learning guitar from his Berkelee College of Music educated dad and followed in his footsteps, attending Berklee to study guitar and composition. Alex’s wide range of musical experiences include touring internationally, singing with and conducting choirs, and writing and producing songs that have been featured on network TV. Currently he produces synth chamber pop and performs under the name Telecommuter.
What age were you when you first started taking music lessons?
I started taking serious guitar lessons when I was 12. Before that my dad had taught me a few basics and I had dabbled with piano and singing in a choir.
Tell us about an early music lessons experience that helped shape you as a musician or teacher:
When I got to a somewhat advanced stage, I started taking lessons with a teacher named Randy Vincent. One of the many things he taught me was how to use what I already knew about the guitar to explore new ideas, essentially how to teach myself and find my own voice.
What are your favorite bands or musicians?
Bill Evans, Arvo Part, Stravinsky, Bjork, Rosalia, Radiohead, Steely Dan, Bach
Do you have a highlight of your music career so far that you would like to share?
A few years ago I played bass in a band called WATERS and we were lucky enough to play to some pretty large audiences. One of my favorite shows was opening for Delta Spirit to a sold out Fillmore west in San Francisco, a revered and historic rock and roll venue.
Describe your ideal student.
My ideal student is open minded, curious, and willing to give things a try. They should be patient with themselves and excited to make music.
Describe what your students should expect in their first few music lessons.
For beginners, I like to spend some time getting to know a student’s interests before getting to work. Next I guide them through a step by step process to building a strong and versatile foundation for playing through chords, riffs, and melodies from their favorite songs. I like to relate the basics to actual music and explain how and why they’re important in order to de-mystify the process of creating music.
Why did you want to become a music teacher?
When I was in college I had a work-study job as a peer tutor. It was my responsibility to help students with many of the core classes that they had been struggling with. I found that by having to explain certain concepts or ideas I understood them more fully and learned a ton! I also felt a ton of satisfaction when students made progress and grew!