From the Blogahedron

Newsletter – August 2016

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Hi everyone,

it’s been a busy summer but now it’s time to try and catch up a little bit.  I feel like I’ve spent most of the summer learning things, some directly musical and some not so much.  But they will all have a part in my continued musical education.

From the StudioIn July I attended the Accent on Music seminar in Portland, where I got to meet one of my favorite guitarists, Clive Carroll.  There was a lot to learn, and much music to hear.  Read a recent blog post about my experiences.

Through a series of nearly-random events, I have just acquired a different koto.  It has a different tone than the one I was using, and I think it will be better suited to my playing style.  Thanks to Mitsuki Dazai for her help in making this change possible.  I am thinking about writing a piece for koto and guitar, an idea which seems a bit daunting but also very enticing.

My summer schedule has been somewhat chaotic so I haven’t had much time to focus on new material, but I am really trying to build a ‘sacred’ time into my life to focus on creating music.  When I have found that time before, it has always been helpful.  But it requires more effort to keep that process working even through life’s chaos.

Upcoming ShowsI have been doing a number of shows at local retirement communities, which have proven to be quite interesting.  Promotional efforts continue (as they always do) and I am looking forward to some regular gigs in local spots.  Watch the schedule for all the latest.

One series of events that has proven to be a lot of fun is the Art Hour series at Skyline Memorial Gardens.  This usually happens on the second Friday of each month.  It’s a chance to unwind, enjoy some local art and speak with the artists, and of course hear some music.  Let’s not forget that there’s food, expertly catered
by Epic Cataring.  They do a great job and everything is very tasty.

Click here to see the complete schedule


The class schedule is filling up again!  I have just added a Gentle Jam on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, where folks can come and try out some songs and learn a bit more about how to jam effectively.  More class topics are always on the drawing board.  If you have a class you’d like to see, let me know.

The Bandmakers program is going very well.  We have two cands for summer term and I’m already excited about what will be coming up for fall.  They have two shows coming up at the end of August–if you will be in the Portland area, check them out!  Visit the Bandmakers site for details.

Guitar Seminar Coming in 2017

Plans are underway for the first Strumming By The Sea acoustic guitar seminar, to be held next year on the Oregon coast.  This 4-day seminar will feature group classes as well as one-on-one instruction, along with plenty of time to relax, practice, and generally focus on music and take a break from the everyday.  More details will be coming very soon, so watch for them.


I recently read an article about neurological Darwinism which I found quite fascinating.  While some of the technical details are clearly debatable, the general concept seems very sound and I found the ideas to be highly resonant with my teaching philosophy.  Read more details in this blog post.


Until next time, walk gently & keep listening…