First, tell us a little about yourself?
I am a 49-year-old husband and father. I have a wife of 31 years and a daughter 30 years of age. I am a graduate of the Tennessee school for the Blind and Middle State community College.
I graduated with a degree in political science and a certification in micro computer applications
I was born in the state of Hawaii and currently reside in Tullahoma Tennessee. I work as a private music instructor teaching various musical instruments to a variety of ages and experience levels
What type of business or Nonprofit do you own or work for?
I work as a private music instructor.
What brought you into this type of work?
It started as a way for me to make a little bit of extra spending money by helping my mom teach piano when I was in high school and continued throughout my college years. In 2005, I was laid off my job as a computer technician for a local bank and realized that I could support my family in a career that was much more fulfilling
What is your favorite part of the work that you do?
One of the most fulfilling things about teaching in general is when your student who has been with you for a very long time finally leaves the nest and goes on to bigger pursuits, and you realize that you have somehow shaped the outcome of their success.
What is the least favorite part of the work that you do?
It is rare in the private music setting that a music teacher ever has a serious discipline problem with an individual student. Rare however, does not mean never. I can only count a couple of instances where I had to engage a student who was behaving inappropriately to such an extent that I required parental intervention. With that said, that is an extremely uncomfortable situation for me because I like kids. Music lessons are supposed to be fun and I don’t like having to be stern if I don’t have to
What are your personal strengths and how do they assist you in the work you do?
This question is difficult to answer modestly. I feel that one of my strengths is that I’m good with people. I like people in general and I thrive in social situations. I believe this makes me accessible to my students and their families so that we can openly communicate about goals for the student and concerns that parents and family have.
I think I have a well-rounded education in a variety of subjects which makes teaching much easier because I can use examples from many different disciplines to convey my teaching to my students.
I had some excellent sales and business training and some previous work which helped me to stay motivated in running my business in a businesslike and productive fashion. My personal skills help to add a personal touch to my teaching environment
What are your personal weaknesses and how do they hinder you in your work?
I’m going to get this one out of the way. Low or no vision is always a hindrance. It isn’t just an inconvenience. Other teachers can read material more quickly. It takes me a longer time to read written material or perform tasks which require visual acuity
Although I am willing to deal with difficult conversations, I hate confrontation so I can be a tiny bit hesitant if I must confront an unpleasant issue with a student or their family. That isn’t to say that I won’t deal with these issues, but I prefer to do things in a pleasant manner
I don’t like excuses. If someone has a legitimate reason for not being able to attend lessons or practice, then I am very understanding.
Although this isn’t a personal weakness it is a problem for all private music teachers. I stated that I don’t like excuses when it comes to practice. One thing that frustrates me is that in a school setting, a teacher can hold a grade over a student’s head and tell them that they must perform to achieve that grade. In a private setting I must put the student on their honor. There is nothing beyond the walls of my studio that I can do to induce them to practice at home. I depend greatly on the student and the parents.
How are you working to improve your weaknesses so you can lessen their hindrance?
I try to give the students material that is appealing to them. I want them to have music that they will enjoy playing and will be motivated to work on. I also try to get parents involved in the process. While I don’t want practice to be a punishment or a chore it Hass to be part of a routine much like homework or some other daily task.
As for the vision problems I mentioned, there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. There are, however, ways to work around it with adaptive technology
When it comes to direct confrontation, I must rely on my own maturity and self-confidence. I am learning to do that daily, and it’s a constant battle
What is your dream for the future?
My dream for the future is quite lofty. I want to improve the quality of art and music education. It starts in my community, but my dream is that music teachers like myself will be like minded enough to improve the overall quality of art and music education. I hope that my private teaching and my YouTube channel will promote this. I want to raise educational standards for all types of learning.
How does that relate to your work?
I play a direct role by being an instructor of music. I try to find out what the schools are teaching and work to be cooperative with music and band programs while adding my own material to the student’s repertoire
What is your preferred way of communicating?
I use social media quite often. I like to use Facebook messenger because it works well on my phone. I’m good with texting or email. Those things are wonderful when you are teaching privately. They are easy to respond to without interrupting the lessons. I must add that during the coronavirus pandemic I’ve found that social media is a wonderful way for me to conduct my business in a distance learning fashion thus allowing students to continue their music education with me while maintaining safety
Is there anything about you or your business I’ve not covered
here? If so, please write about that below.
Often working musicians attempt teaching as a way to make money between gigs. You must love teaching to be successful in this endeavor. If you like to play music and perform, you’re better off seeking that path.
I know guys personally who play a lot better than I do but they don’t enjoy teaching and are a lot happier when they are performing.
I’m currently offering private music instruction both in person and via video chat Video chat is through Facebook Messenger, FaceTime (Inside the United States) and Zoom around the world.
I offer instruction in the guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, violin, viola, dulcimer, ukulele, banjo, drums and piano. Due to COVID-19 concerns, voice instruction is not currently being offered.
My prices are: $15.00 for 30 minutes, and $30.00 per hour.
Contact: please send all inquiries to
To hear John and his music, learn about his Youtube channel and more visit: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1285364/5307700