Frequently Asked Questions…

Do you teach electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, electric mandolin or music theory?

Yes, all of the above (and a few other instruments) in many styles. I teach in Fort Collins, Colorado, and offer online guitar and mandolin lessons.

How long have you been teaching?

I’ve been teaching to some degree since not long after I started playing at age 12. I love to teach and share musical ideas. I started teaching more than a few students in 1996. I’ve taught upwards of 25,000 one-on-one lessons.


I charge in a pre-determined range that generally starts at $25.00/half hour for weekly lessons and $30.00/half hour for twice-a-moth-lesson and drop-ins.

The transcription of long instrumentals extended solos may require an additional fee.

How do you pronounce your last name?

As in "Awed-ly enough."

Do you have a waiting list? Can I get on it, and how long will it take to get in?

The best thing to do is contact me. I often have a waiting list, but not always. It can take 1-2 months to get a regular slot. Some folks are “drop-ins” until they can get a spot, or if they can only afford or need an occasional lesson. If you're on the waiting list and a spot opens at at time that's not good for you to start, you still keep your spot on the top of the list until the timing is better for you to start.

Opportunities usually open up in late August, mid-January and mid-May. These are the times of year schedules tend to fluctuate and resettle. After my students know what their schedules will be, I add a few people to replace open slots.

What times do you teach?

Generally, 4:00 – 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.


Most adults come every other week or twice a month. They are welcome to attend more.

For students who are 17–and-under, I prefer to work with folks who can attend weekly.

For adult beginners, I recommend starting when we can get 6-8 lessons in during a six week period. This will provide the structure and support you need to get you established.

The first lesson is always an hour — it takes this long to evaluate your instrument, establish a rapport, and provide a lesson you can actually go home and practice.

Most lessons are 1/2 hour. One hour slots are available when needed, especially for folks coming from other towns.

Payment and Scheduling

Payment is either by the lesson, or at the beginning of the month. At the beginning of the month we touch base about upcoming scheduling needs.

I charge for cancellations with less than 24 hours notice, unless the lesson can be rescheduled. I don’t charge if you’re sick, have car trouble, suddenly elope, etc. I prefer to make up the lesson with in the week if you have an unexpected event, so we can keep a rhythm going.

When I get enough notice that you won’t be able to make it, I can often use the spot for a drop-in student. That way, you can have a life, and I can still afford mine. Everybody wins, that way.


My studio is located at my home in Fort Collins, 3 blocks east of the CSU campus. It's a short walk from the MAX stop near Pitkin and College and easily accessible by bicycle.

I can teach some lessons by e-mail, and offer online instruction.

Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are available. Sometimes people buy them for current students. My experience is often that people are more committed if taking lessons is their idea. So, I’d make sure the "giftee" really has time to practice and interest in following through before you surprise them. If an expiration date will help someone not procrastinate, you’re welcome to put one on the certificate. Generally, gift certificates would only expire if I do!

Do you rent or loan out instruments?

No. Boomer Music and possibly others rent guitars. Students need to have a playable guitar, a cord and an amplifier if it’s an electric guitar or mandolin.

What's the best age to start lessons?

The best age to play is when the desire arises, for kids or adults.

The youngest student I’ve taught is 5. Generally, a great age to start is between 7 and 10, and by the time the kid’s in junior high they’ve usually blossomed into well-versed players. If younger than seven, someone who teaches the Suzuki method could be a good choice. In my experience, children younger than 7 often progress very slowly, similar to the “silent period” when learning a language. This takes patience and investment on the parenting side of things, but over time can be very rewarding musically.

What age do you prefer to teach?

I love teaching to a wide and varied age range. I don’t have a preference.

Do you teach group lessons?

Yes, but only for current students. They are randomly-scheduled events that arise when several students would benefit from topical information at the same time.

I’m a beginner and I’ve never played an instrument? Will you teach me?
(Or, "I’ve never played a musical instrument in my life and I’m not sure I have any talent," or "I’m quite sure I don’t have talent, but I still want to play.")

Absolutely, Yes!!! Beginners do well with a patient, experienced teacher who can break things down into small manageable steps and teach slowly. (Important at any level, but especially essential here). My reward isn’t in the skill level of musician that I teach, but in seeing students at any level make progress, gain a greater understanding and appreciation of music while having fun.

Do I have to know how to read music, ever?


Can you teach me to read music?

Yes. Most of it will be fun!

Where can I get lessons cheaper?

The City of Fort Collins Parks and Recreation offers group lessons, as does CSU Osher Institute, Academy of Guitar and possibly others. This is a really cost-effective way for some folks to get started and continue learning. Sometimes one-on-one attention is what helps people get traction for a good start.

The Swallow Hill Music Association in Denver gives a wide variety of group lessons in a wide variety of styles and levels. It can be fun to sign up with a friend and make an evening of it.

There are many other teachers in town, and rates vary (check the phone book and music stores), resources on the internet, instructional DVDs, tabulature sites and books. Two other ways to find teachers is to visit Seldom Fed Productions online, or visit Boomer Music and ask to see the teacher notebook they keep behind the cash register.

I just need a "check-up" to make sure I’m on the right track. Do you take drop-in students?

Yes, I do. My drop-in schedule is often with former students who’ve moved out of town and are back for a brief time period (college students, especially). If I can, I’m glad to give you technique tips to make sure you’re not developing habits that will hinder you later.

Other "drop-in" students schedule a batch of lessons designed to help them with a specific song, technique or concept over a set time period.

My daughter/son wants to play electric guitar. Do you recommend that they learn acoustic first?

If they have a strong preference music or the sound of instrument that are acoustic or electric, then I recommend that you go with their burning interest. If they don’t have a strong preference, then I usually recommend acoustic. Why? Students who can play both love the variety and different “languages” of the music played on each instrument. If they get to a plateau on one, they can be energized by picking up the other. It’s more common for folks who start on acoustic to pick up electric; it’s less common for folks who start on electric to play acoustic, as the string tension is higher.

Are you a professional musician?

I think of a "professional musician" as someone who has made their primary living playing music for most of their life. These are the folks that play in the studios, or pay the dues of the road, and experience the many hardships, rewards and joys of the musician’s life. I’ve been a "performing musician," playing in a variety of bands and genres. Musical threads have run deeply through my life since I was very young. I’ve played on roughly 20 albums, most by bandmates and Colorado musicians.

I hope what I do helps others become aware of the true road warriors, appreciate their artistry, buy their music and products and attend their shows.



"An excellent teacher has the knowledge, resources and experience to know what’s going to help you the most, at the moment you need it."



"The level, skill, ability, learning style and available practice time of my students varies. I'm happy teaching people wherever they are in these areas. I enjoy teaching beginners as much as the folks who are performing. I love to be a part of another person's musical growth - regardless of age, experience, choice of music or ability."



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