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.

New Year, New Website

I’ve been doing a lot of decluttering around my home over the past several weeks and that activity has now spilled over on to the website. I’ve updated to a more modern theme and worked to keep the primary menus and pages minimal – focusing on only on the most basic information visitors might be seeking. More detailed articles will be included in the blog. It feels pretty good on this side of the monitor.

Youtube’s HTML5 Player

html5-logoI recently noticed that the progress bar on many YouTube videos no longer responded to my clicks or keyboard shortcuts. Because I use YouTube as a resource to transcribe material for students and gigs it was really frustrating not to be able to pause/fast-forward/rewind videos. So I started Googling for a solution. It took me a few days to identify the issue: YouTube’s new HTML5 Video Player. It looks exactly the same as the default Flash Player but wasn’t functioning properly for me in Chrome. Apparently you should be able to opt out of the HTML5 Player using this link: but even after selecting the Flash Player and clearing my cookies and restarting my browser the issue persisted. A little more searching eventually led me to the YouTube Center Extension. (Versions are available for most major browsers.) This extension allowed me to override the HTML5 player and return to the Flash Player and a fully functional YouTube experience. In addition to being able to select the Flash Player, YouTube Center also has dozens of other options allowing users to select the player size, auto-resolution preferences, auto-repeat, keyboard shortcut enhancements, and even the ability to download video and audio files.

I don’t know if everyone will experience the same issues I had with the HTML5 Player. I’m pretty sure it is supposed to work as well as the Flash Player and I’d be happy to use it if it did. Until then, the extension is a great problem-solver for me.

Letter to Students 2013-2014 Schedule and More….

I hope that you’ve had a wonderful summer. Over the past month I’ve relaxed a lot, enjoyed some time exploring Memphis and Nashville, taught a songwriting class for 4th and 5th graders at Athens Community Music School, and played some fun gigs.

I will be resuming private lessons next week on Monday August 5. I’ve also looked ahead at the coming year and put together a schedule that includes some dates when we will not be able to meet and some opportunities for savings if you’d like to commit to lessons for a longer period of time. Please see the information below my signature for all of those details. It looks like a lot but it’s good info, I promise. Especially the discounts!

I encourage you to reply to this email and confirm that you will be returning to lessons, if you will need to reschedule, or if you have any other concerns. Replies will come to me only.

2013-2014 Guitar Lesson Schedule

Fall Session
Monday August 19 through Thursday December 12 (16 weeks of lessons)

No lessons on the following dates:
Monday September 2 – Labor Day
Thursday October 24 – Athens Beggar’s Night
Wednesday October 30 – Hallowpalooza at Ohio University (A Halloween concert for the whole family! Just Go!)
Monday November 25 through Thursday November 28 – Thanksgiving week

Fall Recital
Date and time TBD

Spring Session
Monday January 6 through Thursday May 1 (16 weeks of lessons)

No lessons on the following dates:
Monday January 20 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Wednesday March 5 and Thursday March 6 – OU Spring Break week (There will be lessons on Monday March 3.)
Monday March 24 through Monday March 27 – Athens City Schools Spring Break week

Spring Recital
Date and time TBD

Payment Policies, and Discounts for 2013-2014

The Usual Stuff
As always, I’m requiring that students pay for lessons on a monthly basis. Payment is due on the first lesson of each month.

The fee is $18 x the number of lessons that will occur during that calendar month. This will usually come to $72 but this will vary sometimes because some months will have 5 lessons and others will have less due to holidays. If you’re not sure what the fee for a particular month is, just ask me. For more detailed payment policy info please visit my website:

Discount for Prepayment
For many families paying for a longer period of time is feasible and offers easier record keeping for both of us. Please check your calendar and make sure you want to commit to your lesson time before prepaying. I cannot guarantee that I will be able to reschedule your lessons if other activities come up.

This year I am offering a couple of options for prepayment:
1. Prepayment for any one session (16 lessons) is offered at a discounted price of $270 (More than 5% discount.)
2. Prepayment for both sessions (32 lessons) is offered at a discounted price of $504 (More than 10% discount.)

Payment for these offers must be made during the week of August 19, 2013.

Just So You Know
After the Fall Session begins I will be increasing my lesson price to $20 per lesson for incoming students. All of my current students (That means you!) will continue to be offered the current lesson fee of $18.00 per lesson for as long as they continue studying with me.

If you’re an intermediate to advanced level player and looking for some new concepts to work through together this fall, I’d highly recommend the materials available from I know many of the authors personally from my time at National Guitar Workshop and they have something for almost everyone. Check them out here: