John has a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Music degree from Brock University. He has been teaching guitar for over twenty eight years, and has been playing guitar for over thirty years. Aside from being a guitar coach and guitar instructor, John is also quite an experienced music theory and piano teacher.
John has taught for four different music schools in the Niagara Region, and now teaches in the GTA. John has been the sole proprietor of both The Niagara Region Private School of Music, and The Glen Lake School of Music. Currently, John is now the founder of Neighbour Note Inc.
Over the years John has created his own guitar, piano, and music theory curriculum consisting of audio, video, midi, music software files, and text. He has and continues to write numerous different series of instructional music books, and DVDs. Some of John's series titles include: Simple Songs and Studies for Piano, Cheat Sheets for Music Rudiments: Music Theory Made Easy, Chord Formations: A Sequential System for Mastering Moveable Chords, The Big Beginner Book of Tab, The Big Beginner Simple Songbook, The Big Beginner Songbook, The Big Beginner Book of Blues, The Strictly Strumming Songbook, and Guitar Method Magic. John has also written a series of coordination exercises for the guitar entitled Fast Fingers, as well as multiple strength building exercises.
As a junior/intermediate teacher in Ontario, John has extensive classroom experience. He has and continues to develop his classroom management skills such as withitness, overlapping, movement management, and group focus. The same can be said about John's instructional strategies which include both direct (lecture, explicit instruction, practice and drill) and indirect (simulations, games), questioning and questioning procedures, individual study, as well as interactive and experimental instruction (simulations, games). John teaches group guitar classes, guitar ensembles, individual guitar lessons, and RCM theory courses such as rudiments (beginner, intermediate, advanced), harmony (basic, intermediate, advanced) and analysis. John also teaches all levels of RCM history classes including history one, two, and three, and runs the Guitar Ensemble, Cover Band, and Tribute Band programs here at Neighbour Note.
When it comes to student success, John has adopted a 'whatever it takes' mentality for his commitment to teaching and learning. He gives his time freely to students in need, and makes himself readily available. Whether it is extra practice sessions, band rehearsals, guitar repairs and general guitar maintenance, song transcriptions, and song arrangements, John is fully committed to each of his students by providing these services free of charge.
NDSB teaching evaluations are available upon request.
My philosophy of education is a philosophical triad consisting of existentialism, progressivism, and constructivism.
As an existentialist, I have always stressed the importance of individual and emotional commitment to living authentically. I firmly believe that the most important role in the teaching profession is that of the role model. Teachers have a tremendous influential impact on each student's life. For this reason, it is imperative that teachers allow students to make their own personal choices so that they can eventually form unbiased opinions. Ultimately, people shape their own destiny by the personal choices they make in life.
As a progressivist, I think that the educational focus should be primarily on the pupil. Every student is an individual and therefore has individualistic needs as they arise. Authentic tasks and assessment should be used in the classroom as much as possible so students can better prepare themselves for an ever changing society.
As a constructivist, I believe that the knowledge and meaning students construct in the classroom is strongly influenced by their life experiences. Again, authentic tasks such as problem solving, the inquiry method, and learning integration will all help students make connections with real-life situations. Consummately, learning should be holistic. It should be a life-long experience. One must first learn the process of learning before they can truly begin to learn and grow intellectually.