"What is the correct way to hold a guitar pick and why?", "How can I most efficiently organize my practice time?", "Why do all the songs I write sound the same?", "I got to a point where I can't play any faster, and I don't know why. What's holding me back?" No matter where you're stuck, Sybil could spend hours on the topic breaking it down into the essential details and training you to move forward. She has an engineering background, and it shows in the way she has clearly dedicated herself to becoming an expert in her field. She is not only an expert in guitar, but also efficient teaching and learning. Highly recommend.Jennifer Solman 5/06/2019
When I relocated to the Portland area recently I was looking for a place to take guitar lessons. I decided on the Portland Guitar Academy because it looked like it had the scope and flexibility to meet my particular needs. I've been taking lessons from Jesse, and have been very pleased with the direction he's taken. This is an organized, technical approach given by an excellent musician, and is moving me in the exact direction I want to go. I am very impressed that this school has a well articulated philosophy and method to teaching, playing and understanding music, and to music itself. Very highly recommended, for those who want to take a deeper dive into applied theory and develop themselves as musicians.Mike Odell 2/23/2020
Brief: Jesse is a terrific teacher, musician and guitar player. Seize any opportunity to work with him.
I've bee learning from Jesse for a few years now. He has provided inspiration and understanding about many avenues of music (technique, theory, production, composition, mindset, philosophy, health, message, legacy). He is incredibly present, and efficiently identifies goals and obstacles where I lack the experience to articulate them. He works collaboratively, providing dense and effective education in an organic way. I enjoy our lessons. Not only are they fun, but they always yield large progressive steps in my understanding of music... to the point that I've become addicted to the "epiphany" moments. The curriculum is an example in master design. As a student I am excited and engaged in the immediacy of a lesson. I feel empowered by new perspectives and insight following a lesson, and my playing leaps forward every time. This is all very abstract, just know Jesse is an incredible teacher!
More technically, Jesse has helped me improve:
- musical ear, listening and hearing music
- composition, stretching immediate improvisation to longer, larger structures
- intervallic thinking, and the ability to rapidly capture or notate musical thoughts
- interaction with the instrument, posture, ergonomics, strategy
- pattern visualization, the ability to embed theory beyond paper and then apply those visualizations at will
- connection between previously disparate theory structures
- technique, understanding the nuances that make studio quality guitar playing
- confidence in playing and navigating the entire neck
- presence and mindset
- ability to formalize and think about my own guitar goals on the scale of a lifetime, down to the immediate hour of a practice