About Sentinel Music Studios
I developed this Web-site for two reasons, 1) to reach-out to those musicians that have a sincere desire to
express themselves musically through the medium of the guitar, and 2) to offer instructional services
specifically designed to meet the needs of the beginning musician. I am not saying that the non-beginner could
not benefit from the course materials that are being offered here - as they most definitely could. It is just
that the non-beginner must be both "willing and able" to un-learn some of the things they have previously been
taught, and then to re-learn this new material.
To the beginning musician, there are two very important points that need to be understood at the outset, 1) the beginning musician must be guided, and 2) the beginning musician must trust their instructor.
Point #1: The beginning musician must be guided
As a direct result of the plethora of information that is being made available today, there is one very important question that the beginning musician must ask themselves prior to doing anything else, and that is, "How do I go about learning to play a musical instrument?" - to which the answer is, "Seek out a local instructor."
Point #2: The beginning musician must trust their instructor
Once you have sought out a local instructor, the beginning musician must have implicit trust their instructor. Notice that you are not being asked, "to learn to trust their instructor". This trust must be immediate, and which can be established during the initial meeting with the instructor. This trust relationship will be based on three very important criteria, 1) demeanor, 2) attitude, and 3) demonstrated ability.
1) demeanor: This simply refers to the outward manner or behavior of the potential instructor.
2) attitude: The understanding of attitude here is with regards to the instructor being able to meet the needs of the student.
3) demonstrated ability: The preferred manner in which to determine this demonstrated ability is through asking good questions during the initial meeting with the instructor.
Guidance and Trust = Personal Relationships
The following information may cause the raising of eyebrows, but this information is more than warranted by the facts. For the beginning musician to be guided and to obtain the services of a trusted instructor, both the student and the instructor must be local to each other. As guidance and trust are personal and relational terms, this simply means that proximity is absolutely essential.
Written Instruction and Physical Instruction
Learning a musical instrument is both a mental and a physical pursuit - simply meaning that both the mind and the body are required to make the activity complete. Both written and physical instruction require a period of time to learn, with this learning period requiring testing to ensure that what has been taught has indeed been learnt. And though it may be possible to teach rote material "at a distance", physical instruction simply cannot be accomplished via distance learning - especially for the beginning musician. The student needs the feedback of the instructor as to the proper seating and hand positions. This feedback cannot be provided unless in a studio environment. It is important to understand that written instruction and physical instruction should never be considered as being separate and therefore, independent areas of learning. Written instruction must be complemented with practical application of this written material to make the study period complete.
The Developing Student
No one is born a musician. Instead, an individual is born with a certain "bent". If this bent is towards music, the individual must then apply themselves to the development of this bent. And because each person is "an individual", the various course materials - though static in design and nature, must be tailored nonetheless, to meet the particular needs and requirements of this individual. And regardless of what others may say - this developmental period can only be realized though one-on-one, personal - and therefore, local instruction.
Believe it or not, most conscientious music instructors do have the best interests of the student in mind. As relationships develop, the instructor will be able to tailor the course materials to meet the particular needs of the beginning musician. It is strongly recommended that the beginning musician abstain from seeking other instruction as such instruction may potentially interfere with the current study material.
If you have an interest in learning more about Sentinel Music Studios, please peruse the Lessons section of this Web-site.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any further questions or would like further information on the services that I provide.