Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

Tutorial – Using Variation

A brief video demonstrating how one can practice a “lick/run” using rhythmic variations and groupings. The music is from Tango En Skaï by Roland Dyens.

Here’s a video of the complete piece (with lots of variation):


Coffee: La Pavoni

Many who follow me on socials have learned about my love of coffee, specifically espresso. In 2008 I had the pleasure of traveling to Sardinia and Bologna, Italy for concerts. On this trip, I noticed that espresso tasted quite differently than in the US, and it did not cause the negative effects on my body that I was accustomed to. Since then I have delved into the exploration of espresso!

I recall visiting the home of Maestro Pepe Romero for a New Year’s Eve Party, and seeing his counter tops covered in espresso machines, at least 6! He told me most of them were gifts from his students who knew that he and family loved espresso. Soon after he was in Boston for concerts, and we stopped for an espresso on the way back to the airport. He told me espresso was very important to musicians and especially guitarists. He did not say why, and I did not question him. He’s Pepe Romero and he was preaching to the choir!

My newest addition to our espresso family is the Stradiveri by the Italian company La Pavoni.







Morning Espresso

Books: Mysticism of Sound and Music

The Mysticism of Sound and Music: The Sufi Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan

Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927) wrote one of the most influential books on music and sound that I have experienced. Recommended to me when I was an undergraduate by the late New England Conservatory educator/provost and sitar player Peter Row, the book delves into the power of sound as experienced through the Sufism and music of South India. It is not enough for me to say it has had an effect on my approach to music and life. I think of it daily with every tuning of my strings. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️


Tutorial – Practice Calendar


This is a video I made as part of a group lecture given for the 2021 Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) on the subject ‘Developing Successful Practice Habits’ on Friday, June 25, 2021.
Music: Lullaby For Children Of The New World by Ricardo Odriozola

What are some positive habits that you use?

Using a Practice Calendar

I made this video for the 2021 Guitar Foundation of America Conference as part of a group lecture on Practice Habits. It focuses on the integration of the use of a Practice Calendar into our daily practice. The video is 5min. What do you think? Do you have a way of keeping yourself organized?

Ways to De-Stress

It’s a stressful time. It is.
Dealing with the unknown and needing to react quickly to the latest cancelation or news is not easy. Here are 5 ways to relax by yours truly!

“Not some godawful


Of course!
I released ‘New Lullaby’ in 2010 knowing our culture doesn’t sleep well enough or listen to much music by living composers. The result is 14 New Lullabies from 13 American composers, from the warm and sightly dark to the lullaby you shouldn’t hear the end of because you’re asleep. It has continued with over 55 premieres!
Check out the album on BandCamp: (best for Artists)
Physical CDs from: Amazon
Autographed CDs from my Store: (great for Artists!)
Join the New Lullaby Project FB Group!!
Youtube Playlist of New Lullaby Videos

2 – Neu-Becalm’d

After a major house fire in 2007 and finding I couldn’t sleep more than 4 hours or quiet my mind, my wife discovered Neu-Becalm’d™. It is a nutritional supplement that gives the brain-targeted nutrients to aid in the balancing of neurotransmitters. Problems such as mental and emotional focus, or substance abuse may be caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Very helpful for performance anxiety and quieting the mind. This was life changing!
I do not recommend drugs of any kind (beta blockers, weed, etc), but this is only amino acids. I do believe in it enough to be a distributer.
• You can find it at my Website Store: (we will match prices)

3 – Food

Jasmine Yeh at Banff

During my Banff Music Residency in January (remember January!?) we held a New Lullaby concert with performance art and visuals called ‘The Oscillating Dream Space’. Artist Jasmine Yeh (NY) served up “chill food” and Laura Sofia Perez did visuals. It was amazing!!

I can’t recommend enough finding the right food to compliment your body and assist your mind. It is not comfort food. Chill food is food that helps you relax by its chemical makeup, ie. melatonin (amino acids!).
• A few include: Fruits and vegetables (tart cherries, corn, asparagus, tomatoes, pomegranate, olives, grapes, broccoli, cucumber)
• Grains (rice, barley, rolled oats)
• Nuts and Seeds (walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, mustard seeds, flaxseed)
In other words: Cook!

4 – Garden

‘Tis the season. Go work in your garden. There is not much that compares with digging in the dirt. Don’t forget to wear gloves if you’re a musician. Our Dwarf Iris’ came out and they bring smiles. We need smiles!
That’s it.
Go dig and start planting!

5 – Walk



New Interview – Boston Voyager

An interview from April is now out in Boston Voyager Magazine.

Includes the trials and tribulations of being a touring musician, the many hats I wear, collaborations, arrangements, teaching. Click the link below to read the article.

ACME Honoree from Mu Phi Epsilon

It is a great honor to be a Mu Phi Epsilon ACME Honoree!

I look forward to continuing my musical adventure with the wonderful musicians and music lovers of Mu Phi Epsilon Professional Music Fraternity. Go Beta Chapter!!acmee-mpe-fall-2016











Read about the fraternity and other ACME Honorees at:

Sicily and Reggio Calabria

Following my trip to St. Petersburg, Russia, I flew to Rome where I met Catherine.  We rented a car and started our drive to Sicily.   The close to 12 hour ride was beautiful and full of adventures.  We stopped often for espresso, only a euro and asked many questions as we had no phone or GPS (thank you Verizon).  The ferry ride was exciting only as we crossed the same straight that had stranded sailors for over two thousand years, but was mastered by Ulysses.  What I can say is:  WOW!!

Check out a few photos:
Flicker: Master classes at the Conservatory di Reggio Calabrian
FaceBook: Master class in Reggio Calabria 

Guitarist Nicola Oteri organized three days of master classes at the Conservatorio di Musica F. Cilea in Reggio Calabria where he teaches.  Working with the teenage and young adult musicians was a joy.  Sharing stories imparted to me by those with whom I had classes with as a student: Leo Brouwer, Ricardo Cobo, Sharon Isbin as well as passing the word of my teachers: Dmitry Goryachev, David Leisner and Eliot Fisk.  This intense and personal experience reminded me that music transcends nations and religions coming together for sound; beautiful sound.  Special thanks to Carmen Cardia for translating!


Conservatorio di Reggio Calabria

Conservatorio di Reggio Calabria

Following the days of teaching, Franco and Nicola organized a house concert in Messina, on the Sicilian side of the straight.  A musical feast we had! – Messina House Concert Photos

Sicily is gorgeous; truly the garden of Italy.  Catherine and I stayed with Luthier Franco Marino and his wife Carmen Cardia in the city of Messina.  Never have I tasted, repeatedly I might add for scientific reasoning, such amazing espresso.  Oh, and Granita!!



Catherine and I took a day to go to Agrigento to visit the Valley of the Temples and Piazza Armenina where we saw a Roman Villa full of mosaic work like we’ve never seen anywhere, not even Pompeii could claim such a large collection of beauty.  Told not to take photos of the mosaic we obeyed.  Sorry.

Though there are many more photos:  Sicily, Concert, Espresso, Exploration

Driving in Sicily was not a problem.  People move quickly and are fairly well trained.  Also, the roads are substantially better than Boston’s, drivers too.  So many colors and beautiful beaches in Sicilia.  Sadly, during our trip it was the coldest June in 100 years, so we saw the beaches but did not take off our coats.  Next time, which brings me to:  Nicola, Franco and I are planning for a festival next summer, so pay attention all of you guitar cats.  Sicily might just be calling your name!

It's not just how you play but how you get there.

It’s not just how you play but how you get there.

Special thanks to photographer Catherine Larget-Caplan!