Rediscovering Music Lessons as an Artistic and Spiritual Practice
Custom Sessions Designed to Fit Your Goals
All Levels Welcome!
songwriting / composition
music technology / recording / mixing / Logic / Pro Tools / Ableton / Finale / Sibelius
creative process coaching / defeating writers’ block
critical listening / originality / authenticity
music theory / counterpoint
lyric writing / musical theater writing
integration with spiritual practices
distribution / funding ideas
Pricing: $90/session (60-90 mins)*
Location: NYC Coffee shops, Brooklyn home studio, Skype, or your home
all ages and experience levels / beginners welcome!
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / 901.569.1669
I am very excited to introduce a new teaching service this year. It is inspired by the word Awen, a Welsh term that means ‘creative inspiration’. It is a holistic musical training that reorients learning so that it begins with music’s artistic and spiritual aspects - that energy that makes us want to learn music in the first place. It is totally driven by the specific needs and goals of the person booking a session. It could take the form of technical piano study, learning songwriting, Ableton/Logic, or it could be getting out of writers’ block, receiving feedback about a work, or counseling to manage the creative process.
But whatever the medium, the end goal is artistry, creative power, and personal authenticity. I believe that if we reorient disciplined music instruction around this axis, it will truly ignite something special in the world. This is the process that I have used to write and perform my whole career, and I’m very excited to begin sharing it with others, so that they can unlock something new in themselves.
Q. What exactly is this?
The main goal is to help you learn almost anything you’re interested in learning, from songwriting to making beats and producing, to piano lessons, to music theory and musical theater writing.
What makes this different from other approaches is that I believe rigorous technical study must be coupled with personal creative unfolding, so that it never becomes lifeless pedagogy. The visceral power that makes you want to take music lessons in the first place will guide the curriculum you follow. Yes, there is repetition required that is much like strength training or yoga, but my view is that if you know why you are doing it, if you are working to unlock something powerful or spiritual or creative within yourself, it is going to give you the engine you need to really succeed in your work and reach your goals.
Everyone is different. You may only want to learn about music technology, or how to play piano. You may only want to work on songwriting. Or you may have different interests and you want to figure out how they feed into each other. The goal of this training is to develop you on several different axes, so that you build up different techniques to flow with your practice rhythms, daily life, and creative evolution.
Q. Who’s it for?
People of any level who want their love of music and creative self discovery to guide the way they learn. You could be someone who has never played an instrument but wants to learn how to write songs. You could be a professional who needs a feedback session on your work. You could be someone who is working to break out of writers’ block, or a songwriter looking for new techniques to tap into your creative imagination.
It’s my goal to let your unique talents and interests guide the way your sessions unfold.
Q. This is sounding kind of fluffy what with all the talk of inspiration and creative unfolding. Just teach me some solid technique.
Definitely! Your lesson style will be based on your personal needs. The main thing is that you come with a desire. From there, we will determine concrete goals and a schedule to reach those goals.
But you also have a chance to work with your ‘right brain’ creativity and inspiration in a deep, scientific, and technical way. Even if you feel uncreative (as I did my whole life until my early twenties), I am convinced there is a way to break through.
Every creative work tends to follow a similar pattern, and my goal is to center technical training around the stages of that pattern.
Q. OK, so tell me more about the ‘Creative’ in Creative Music Training.
In my experience as a composer I discovered the central musical process, and the way through any creative block - technique, songwriting, whatever - is something I have come to call ‘tracking down the magic’. Perhaps that’s not the most technically impressive name, but I’ve found that it’s a concrete process that happens differently for every project, but always happens, with recognizable results.
I believe there is an evolutionary way to engage with the creative arts that begins with a reverence for their spiritual power. Those moments of joy and absorption are when authenticity is happening. They won’t always be there, but you can train yourself to know when it is happening, and build up a technique to cultivate it in your performance or writing.
There is a way to unlock and foster an exciting, authentic experience of music that’s different for every person, yet I believe universally accessible. And at the core, that is what the training is about.
My goal is that your training is technically deep, creatively powered, and holistic, integrating everything you love about music into a unified practice.
*About the Pricing
I’ve meditated for longer than I care to admit about the relationship between authentic service to others and the realities of economics. The closest solution I’ve found is the Buddhist concept of dana - an act of giving. I also believe strongly in the concept of a living wage, especially in the performing arts, with its current structures of survival and funding so imbalanced. The price given is based on careful consideration of the reality of my needs to earn a living wage.
However, if you are someone who has a deep drive to learn - and to work - and are excited by this training, but have financial needs that preclude this price, please reach out. You will be asked to submit a small portfolio and brief statement of why this training is important to you. We will make it work in a way that is possible for you.
Finally, I strongly believe in allowing a session to be the length it needs to be, rather than having an artificial time restraint.
Andrew has taught music technology, composition, songwriting, and theory at Rhodes College and the University of Memphis. He has toured nationally and internationally for composition and performance. His accompanying skills are old enough to vote, his organ skills old enough to drink, and his piano skills have successfully navigated through their quarter life crisis, and they came out pretty well. He holds an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU, an MM in Composition and Piano Performance from the University of Memphis, and a BA in music from Rhodes College.