Here is a list of some of the things I teach, with a little history included.
  • Classical vocal technique- sound production and style: I was a graduate vocal teacher at Indiana University and have also taught privately since 1989. Though I travel a lot, one of my vocal teachers, Michael Warren, told me that one lesson with me would be of more benefit to a young student than months with many other teachers. I thank him for the compliment.

    My other teachers were Gloria Hilborn, who studied with a student of Jean de Reszke; and Walter Cassel, famous for his creation of the role of Horace Tabor in THE BALLAD OF BABY DOE, and not famous for all the Wagner lead roles he did at the Met and around the world, or for his ability as a teacher. Both these teachers have passed to that great concert hall in the sky, and the living world is poorer for their absence.

    If you know little or nothing about opera or tenors, or even if you think you know something, you might want to read my lecture I wrote for Colorado Commutiny Colleges Online, or my treatise on the f-word "Fach".

  • Music composition: I minored in composition at Indiana University, and studied with Donald Erb (classical), Jeffrey Hass (electronic) and David Baker (jazz). Those experiences plus first-hand performing experience of a wide variety of music from Renaissance to styles the present, both "serious" and "popular", make me more than qualified to teach the construction of music from plainsong tofolksong to complete operas.

  • Clawhammer banjo: this is the "mountain" style, much closer to the original konting playing technique of West Africa that thee familiar "dueling banjos" or Bluegrass or three-finger style. I have adapted this style to work in contemporary popular music such as Talking Heads, Hamell on Trial and They Might Be Giants.

  • Lap dulcimer: the "mountain" or "Appalachian" dulcimer, as opposed to the one played with hammers.

  • Appalachian musical styles- singing and instrument playing, particularly Carter Family singing style

  • Jaw harp (khomuz in Tuvan): the familiar "boing boing" instrument of cartoons, the melodic and rhythmic capabilities of this instrument can be surprisingly complex, and the sound is unique.

  • Rhythm bones: this ancient cousin of castanet and clave has resurged with a vengeance from the doldrums following the decline of the morally questionable entertainment form known as the Minstrel Show. There is now an international society for them, and I am one of its practicing, teaching, manufacturing members. I have taught hundreds of people how to play bones, many of them schoolchildren between ages 7 and 16. Bones are an excellent inroad into the world of musical performance and a good way to get kids to learn about rhythm because they are so cool.

  • Foreign language pronunciation : Besides several dialects of English, I teach meaning and pronunciation in French, Italian, German, Russian, Polish and some Czech and (Brazilian) Portuguese, Tuvan and Japanese, with an emphasis on the singing of these languages. I hope to add Mandinka to this list as time permits. You can't truly sing a song or an aria without knowing what you're saying, and that's not limited to the meaning of the individual words. Each language has an intrinsic music all its own which contains the rest of the meaning- some say the other 93% of the meaning- of what we say, especially the emotional cadences.

  • Musical instrument construction : I can show you how to build dulcimers, banjos, autoharps, bones, tongue drums, and many other wooden instruments, or how to fix broken ones, or make cheap new ones playable. I can show you how to bend a jaw harp to get the most possible sound out of it, which it's probably not giving you right out of the box.

  • Other pursuits which I have plenty of experience to instruct: photography, carpentry, woodcraft (meaning outdoorspersonship) raw food diet recipes and other culinary curiosities such as injera (Ethiopian bread), tabouli and ways to use tofu that actually make it taste like something.

  • Contact me if you want some instruction in one of these areas.
* Shameless Self Promotion.