Feedback from Fall 2016-2017 Classes

Responses from MUS1650 Guitar for Music Therapy

• I love this class – Mr. Horne is engaging and tailors the class to match the abilities of his students. I look forward to going to class!

• John Horne is absolutely one of my favorite professors that I have had at Ohio University, I enjoy attending his class and feel I haveimproved a good deal during the semester. Can’t wait to have class with him again next semester!

• Love him. He is such a great teacher.

• Made me feel successful on an instrument I have never been great with!

• My guitar skills have improved so much in just one semester of guiar. I was challenged every class and there were always multiple ways provided of how to play something to make it more challenging which met everyone where they were.

• Overall the class is wonderful and I enjoy it and it makes me feel like I can really am learning. I just wish that there was an update every few weeks of our grade. Overall the class is very effective and really teaches us guitar. I would love to see one one-on-one work though out the class but I honestly love this class.

• Professor Horne is a wonderful guitar teacher. He is extremely helpful in class and offers helpful advice every day. I wish I knew what I had in the class, not knowing my grade in any class is very stressful. But I am confident that if I was doing poorly, he would let me know. I look forward to another semester of guitar!

• This was my favorite class this semester

• Dr. Horne is an excellent guitarist and Professor and consistently presents the material in a way that is both challenging but concise for the class to learn. I have never played guitar before, and he has helped me to have a firm foundation to continue learning and an inspiration to keep learning more.

• He is very patient. I really like this class.

• John Horne is a great professor. Our class is at 8:35 in the morning and he is a great way to start off the day- especially that early. I really appreciate how accommodating his curriculum for students who have never played the guitar until now- me. John Horne is really funny and is a good teacher.

Responses from MUS2550 Jazz Combo

• I love this class. I look forward to it every week, and I learn a lot every time we meet. Professor Horne does a great job creating a comfortable environment where each person can experiment.

• It has been a pleasure to have professor Horne as an ensemble director this year. He chose appropriate rep and asked for suggestions from the group. As a group I felt that we really loved our rep this semester for that reason. His directions were very clear and he used rehearsal time very effectively. His vast knowledge of Jazz music and performance is evident in each piece of advice he gives the members of the ensemble. His positive attitude and love of jazz music really unified and motivated the group. He also created materials such as arrangements or additional parts to songs. Professor Horne is an extremely effective director and a joy to learn from.

• Professor Horne has a gift; acting as catalyst, he has created an ensemble of musicians, not just eight individuals playing their notes.

Responses from MUS2550 Jazz Improv for Music Therapy

• The final project was awesome, even though it took me more time that I expected to finish it. However, it gave me more opportunities to thinking about how to use what we learned in the music therapy session.

• The several techniques we have used in class has inspired me in many ways, especially in clinical area.

• Great teacher with great passion for jazz.

• I enjoyed jazz improvisation. It would be helpful to have assignment posted prior to being assigned. I liked the source the instructor used to assign homework and information.

• I like that he made the class fun and didn’t have us so worried about grades. I especially like that he had us improvise based on feel. He taught us “feel” instead of reading notes on a page.

• John Horne is very passionate about jazz improvisation and is a great class facilitator. However, I believe the majority of the class materials is not applicable to music therapy. I wish we could have done more clinical interventions with jazz improvisation.

• Professor Horne made the class applicable to the career I will be going into, and I really appreciated that.

Johnny Guitar

Johnny Guitar from Lucas Reilly on Vimeo.

I was recently chosen as the subject of a photojournalism project by Ohio University student Lucas Reilly. Lucas is a former student and it was great to reconnect with him and have him shadow me for a few days. Not only did he impress mt with his photos, but he was amazingly professional and discrete while capturing these images.

Windy and Warm Transcription

I’ve always liked Chet’s performance of “Windy and Warm” on the Porter Wagoner Show television show from 1961 and finally got around to transcribing it all. Check out the sneaky maneuvers at bars 32-33 and 50-51 that combine open strings and fretted notes. Both sections require a pretty good stretch but they’re doable with some work. Give her a spin and let me know what you think. There are a few slides that I haven’t notated and probably a few corrections waiting to be spotted. And if you enjoy the transcription please consider putting a buck in the tip jar.

Windy and Warm – Chet Atkins PDF

Practicing Guitar and the Strategy of Convenience

This is the first post in a series based on concepts I’ve been introduced to by the books Better Than Before and The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I also highly recommend her weekly podcast Happier.

What is The Strategy of Convenience?

Not every strategy will work for everyone, but this one is nearly universal. It’s known as the The Strategy of Convenience. Simply put, the easier you make it to do something the more likely you are to do it. Far more likely. In Better than Before, Gretchen gives an example: “…in one cafeteria, when an ice-cream cooler’s lid was left open, thirty percent of diners bought ice cream, but when diners had to open the lid, only fourteen percent bought ice cream, even though the ice cream was visible in both situations.” Crazy right? That’s a big change. So let’s think about ways to make practicing more convenient. Below is a short list of things that have worked for me.

Designate an area in for practice

Think about where you are currently practicing in your home and whether or not it invites you to play music and be creative. It doesn’t need an entire room – even just a corner will work but it should be someplace that makes you feel happy and is relatively free from distractions. If you don’t feel good about your current location you may want to reconsider where you practice or just rearrange things to better suit you. For example: even though I have a room dedicated to keeping my guitars, I’ve found that I prefer to practice in my kitchen because it is the brightest and sunniest room in the house. Because I do want to spend more time in my music room, I’m currently rearranging the room so I can always sit and practice with a view of the sky from the window. and planning to put on a fresh coat of paint to brighten things up. Most people only practice at home, but I have had a few adult students that keep a guitar in their office and practice for a while during their lunch hour.

Take your guitar out of the case

This is the number one problem that many students have. They come home from their lesson, put the case in their room and forget all about it. Remember the ice cream example? If people were half as likely to buy ice cream with the cooler lid closed, how much less likely do you think you’ll be to practice if your guitar is in its case? So from now on do this: As soon as you get home, take your guitar – and all of your lesson materials – out of the case and leave them in your designated practice spot. You don’t have to start practicing right then, but this way they’ll be ready to play whenever you feel the urge. I call this “making an accommodation for my future self.” Do you remember the film Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure? The guys use time-travel loops to set up many of their successes.

Bill: “After the report we’ll time travel back to two days ago, steal your dad’s keys and leave them here!”

Ted: “Where?”

Bill: “I don’t know. How about behind that sign? That way, when we get here now, they’ll be waiting for us.” [picks up the keys] “See?”

Ted: “Whoa, yeah!”

I like to think that taking your guitar and lesson materials out of the case is kinda like that. You are momentarily time-travelling. Getting everything ready for “future you” to log some serious practice!

Accessories can make a difference

You don’t need much but having a few items can make your practice space more convenient. Here’s what I recommend:

  • Guitar Wall Hanger
  • This is my absolute favorite thing to recommend and it will make such a difference in your life. If you take your guitar out of the case you’ve got to have a safe place for it. Leaning a guitar against a piece of furniture just isn’t very secure. Personally, I like these guitar hangers by String Swing . They mount securely and do a great job of displaying your instrument at eye level so you’ll be even more tempted to play. I have one for every guitar. Yes, you could get a guitar stand but I really like getting the guitar up off the floor. It looks great, saves space, and keeps your axe out of the way of kids and pets.

  • Music Stand
  • People often try to skip out on buying a stand but this is really important! Trying to look at sheet music that is lying flat on a desk or bed is difficult and causes you to hunch over you guitar to see it. You can get an inexpensive stand for about $15 but if you are series look for a heavy-duty one. It will last longer and support heavier books, iPads, etc. There’s a reason every single room in a music school has a stand in it!

  • Chair
  • Make sure your chair is comfy and promotes good posture. If you don’t like sitting in it, try something else.

  • Guitar pick bowl
  • Get a little bowl or ashtray or something similar and put some of your guitar picks there so you’ll always have them handy. Keep a separate tin of guitar picks in your case or gig bag. Like this Altoids tin pick pack.

    Do you face other issues that seem to make practicing inconvenient? Do you have other strategies you use for making it more convenient? Let me know in the comments!

    Watch Gretchen Rubin’s video on The Strategy of Convenience