For the Beginner
Beginning level lessons focus on basic accompaniment tools and musicianship skills, enhanced by playing favorite songs. Common chords, strum patterns and accompaniment techniques are thoroughly covered. Learning to read music is encouraged but not mandatory, though reading rhythm notation is taught to help develop rhythmic skills. For younger children (6-8 yrs.), a children's instruction method is used which includes abbreviated chord fingerings, age-appropriate songs and music reading basics.
Intermediate level lessons build on the foundation learned at the beginning level and offer the student the opportunity to focus on the techniques used in the style(s) of music of their choice. These techniques range from more involved rhythm playing to developing the ability to play lead guitar to fingerpicking techniques. In addition, many students start taking lessons after playing for awhile and may benefit by reviewing some basics to fill in "holes" in their playing. One advantage of private lessons is that the the lessons can be tailored to fit the individual's specific needs. This is especially true for intermediate level players.
For the Advanced Player
Advanced lessons involve in-depth study of a particular style and mastery of challenging techniques and music within that style. Serious study and application of music theory is especially helpful for the advanced player. Improvisation is often a focus and development of the many tools and concepts involved in improvising is encouraged. Advanced students often have specific goals in mind (preparing for application to a college music program, for example), while others enjoy rounding out their skills by tackling new styles of playing.
Workshops are regularly offered for students interested in additional study on a particular subject in a group setting. Examples are ensemble playing of pieces/songs, focus on particlular concepts or techniques, and improvising in a group setting. The chance to work with others helps students get used to playing for and working with other musicians.
Group lessons for beginning students are available at the Kearny Mesa Rec Center (3170 Armstrong Street, San Diego, CA 92111). The recreation center is a short drive from Bishop Music Instruction and is located between Mesa College and Kearny High School. There are classes available for youth, adults and seniors. This is a great, affordable way to get started on guitar. Registration can be completed in person at the recreation center or online by visiting the Kearny Mesa Recreation Center website. Also, feel free to e-mail or call Bishop Music Instruction for more info.