Jack Tuttle
Performer - Instructor
Upcoming 10 week classes and Saturday workshops Everything about taking lessons My philosophy for your kids
Tablature books for instruments and lyrics books for singing Go here for a calendar that list current openings for single lesson times. The Old Apple Tree- Molly and Jack Tuttle's New Album
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I teach at Gryphon. They are good guys and will treat you right.

My Teaching Philosophy

Above all, my goal in teaching children is to help them develop total musicianship. This means eventually getting them to the point where they can think for themselves on their instrument. There is currently a growing number of enlightened music educators who are realizing the old ways of teaching music is seriously flawed. When the piano or violin teacher down the street would place printed music in front of students year after year, having them regurgitate it back in endless lessons, kids generally never developed any of the skills regular folk musicians took for granted. They learned to read a musical language, but they couldn't speak it. The problem with this kind of teaching is it doesn't engage the creative mind or the ear.

In my lessons, students do learn to read, but it is only part of the musical process. As skills are learned, we engage the ear more and more. Songs are learned without written notes. Variations to pieces are learned in an organic fashion. And part of each lesson is like a two person jam, as I accompany on guitar and sometimes sing as we play together. Students are encouraged to learn to sing the songs too. As skills develop, improvising becomes more and more a part of the lesson.

One thing I have found through the years is that kids don't need special dumbed-down children's songs. I generally avoid the Raffi genre and feed kids the real deal. I try to help them get to know a little about the artists whose songs we are learning from, be it Ralph Stanley or Fiddlin' Sam Long or whomever. Kids can be drawn into music by the emotional content of music, the same as an adult, if given the chance. Kids music, of course, is generally stripped of any of this.

Certainly an important part of learning to play a stringed instrument is developing technical skills, using the correct finger, hand and arm movements and postures. This is something I have paid a lot of attention to and have thought about the best ways to train these skills. Much of the lesson program I have developed for each instrument is focused on building skills in a graduated, orderly fashion. Properly developing newly acquired motor skills, and focusing on fluid, efficient movement is a major focus.

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Updated September 23, 2013