Justin S Davis – Guitar
Justin S Davis loves teaching guitar lessons. It is fulfilling, joyful work he has done with success since he started teaching in 1999. Teaching guitar, for Justin, is a constant reminder that music is a gift. “When a student reaches past a previous goal, writes a first song, or their eyes light up with a sudden new understanding, it makes everything feel new again for me too,” Justin says. “I feel incredibly grateful to be able to teach and share with my students.”
The focus of Justin’s teaching is on building connections with music. Technique and music theory, including sight-reading, are important components of his curriculum, but always as a means of learning to be a creative guitarist. Whatever repertoire a student chooses can be, and is, used in the lessons; but not simply so the student can play songs just like the record. Rather, once the student can perform the piece (anything from Bach to The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, from Taylor Swift to Muse and AC/DC), the songs get broken down into their elements so the student can learn to write and improvise; first in the styles of their favorite bands, and eventually with their own unique musical voice.
Justin is the author of The Guitar Player’s Notebook, and his musical training includes having earned a BA in Music from Central Washington University for classical guitar performance, Jazz guitar performance studies at Cornish College of the Arts, and Flamenco guitar lessons with Miguel Serrano in Salamanca, Spain. But perhaps most importantly, Justin has learned by being out there, writing music and performing. It’s his real world experience that is often the biggest benefit to students who want to become professional musicians, or who just want to sound better when jamming with friends.
In addition to his busy teaching schedule, Justin is one of Seattle’s most in demand guitarists. He has performed and/or recorded with some of the world’s finest musicians, including Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Duff McKagan of Gun’s ‘N’ Roses, Matt Cameron of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, Shawn Smith of BRAD, Santana’s drummer Michael Shrieve, Alan White of YES and Plastic Ono Band, Brendan Hill of Blues Traveler, Howard Leese of Heart, Chad Channing of Nirvana, the Seattle Symphony, and many others. Among other venues, he has performed at Benaroya Hall, McCaw Hall, The Paramount, The 5th Avenue Theatre, The Moore, The Neptune Theater, The Showbox, and he has toured the U.S.A many times, both with his own bands and as a hired sideman.
Justin works with guitarists of all skill levels, ages 6½ to adult, and is currently accepting new students. To learn more about lessons with Justin, visit his website, or contact him directly:
Marcus Kitley – Guitar
Marcus Kitley has dedicated his life to teaching. He teaches 6th grade at Sakai Intermediate School by day. By night, he combines his love of teaching with his other passion; playing guitar. Marcus is a graduate of the University of Washington and has a Master’s Degree in Education. A Northwest native, he has been gigging professionally since the age of 16. Everything from big band, rock & roll, blues, jazz, and even Elvis impersonators! He brings a vast and eclectic musical repertoire to what he calls, “A student first approach.”
Marcus has an amazing rapport with students of all ages. Claiming this “Student first approach works every time!” He believes the number one way to get students playing the guitar is to get them excited about playing the guitar. This happens by teaching them something they want to learn. “Most students walk out of our first lesson playing a song they love within a half hour. This makes playing the guitar fun! When it’s fun, you practice. When you practice, you see immediate results.” Marcus works with each student to play what he or she envisions. This individualized approach is what makes his teaching technique so successful.
“By having students choose the songs they want to learn, we build motivation and success.” says Marcus. “But the actual song is only a byproduct.” He goes on to explain, “I use their songs to teach universal concepts. Each song offers a unique opportunity to explore chord shapes, scales and song structure. We work to tie these common threads together through each song we do, building skills, musical vocabulary and fingering.” Marcus’ students are enthusiastic about guitar and look forward to their lessons each week.
Lessons are available. To contact Marcus directly please call or email.
Steve Newton – Bass, Guitar and MIDI
Steve is an extremely prolific and eclectic musician and teacher, drawing from a well of expertise ranging from electric bass and guitar to voice, theatre and MIDI technology. He was educated at the University of Miami, Florida, receiving a BA in Electric Bass Jazz performance, and has worked as musical director for numerous theatre productions including “Hedwig”, “Buttrock Suites” and “What You Sing Might Save You”. His mastery of recording and technology has allowed him to develop numerous CDs, DVDs and music tracks for video games such as X-Com Interceptor. With twenty years of teaching and playing experience, Steve is a popular teacher among his teen and young adult students and is a founder of IMC’s Rock!Camp and Rock!Lab where he ensures that his students have good opportunities to perform, practice and play with others.
Randy Parris – Guitar and Harp
Randy Parris began his musical career playing a variety of instruments in a broad range of styles from a very young age. He followed his dream and began studying general music and classical guitar at Central Washington University where he also began to learn Lute and ancient forms of music. After three years, an opportunity to own and run a music store in Ellensburg interrupted his formal studies. It was at this time as a store owner, he began his lifetime interest in the Harp and was able to have a harp specially made, also developing his interest in composing for the instrument. At the same time, his love of guitar remained strong and as well running the store, he continued to play regularly in touring bands and to do session work. Like many music students, Randy had begun teaching while at college and now applied his formal training and opportunity as an entrepreneur, to establish himself as a music teacher with his own instruction studio based at his store. Since then, he has never looked back and even during periods when travelling with his harp, or busy with managing his business, teaching music emerged as his central passion and profession by choice and he is as comfortable teaching electric guitar to a budding rock star as he is with the meditative and mellow harp, for which he composes prolifically. Randy feels that teaching music theory and technique through the student’s chosen style and preferences is very important approach.
Peter Spencer – Guitar, Voice, Songwriting
Peter Spencer is a fingerpicking guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Co-founder in the 1980s of the Fast Folk Musicians Cooperative in NYC, his solo recordings for them are now part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. After graduating from The Writing Program at Columbia University in 1989, Peter retired from performing and became a full-time music writer for magazines like Rolling Stone and Sing Out. His book World Beat: A Listener’s Guide to Contemporary World Music on CD” was published by the Chicago Review Press in 1992. His latest book, “Folksongwriting,” is due to be published in 2014. Peter began releasing recordings again with his 2000 release, “New Hope and Wise Virgins.” In 2004 he moved to Bainbridge Island, releasing “Handsignal,” another album of original songs, in 2006. Later that year came “Gathering Light,” an album of Christmas music for solo guitar, and in 2007 he released “The Blues Concert,” a stripped-down album of original acoustic blues. “From the Island” followed in February, 2009 (these three were all recorded at the Island Music Hall) and “1896” (recorded at Seabold Hall) in 2011. In 2013 he received his Masters of Fine Arts degree in music composition from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Peter lives on Bainbridge Island and divides his time between performing, teaching at the IMG, and teaching at Dusty Strings in Seattle. Visit Peter on the web at: peterspencer.com