Instrument: Violin (suzuki and traditional), guitar, banjo, beginner electric bass, viola
Genres: Rock, Americana, Folk, Bluegrass, Blues, Country (good country), Jazz, Funk, Reggae, Soul
Location: Falls Church, Arlington, Fairfax, Vienna VA
Why I work well with kids?
I work well with kids because I started learning an instrument at a very young age myself, so I am able to put myself in their shoes. My teacher showed a great deal of patience and sensitivity to my learning style and knew how to make it fun and engaging, so I strive to do that with my students. I think it’s important to be continuously encouraging and positive with kids, and show them how rewarding playing music can be. I truly believe it’s my responsibility to share the passion I have as a musician with my students.
Ben H. Bio and Resume
Location of Birth: Reston, VA
I started taking violin lessons at age 6, and studied with Suzuki teacher Bonnie Hudson for 12 years. As I continued taking private lessons through Middle School and High School I also played in the School Orchestras, and was often selected to be first chair or section leader. During High School I also played in the Northern Virginia Youth Symphony for two years under conductor Carl J. Bianchi. After an audition, I got into the JMU Music School to study violin performance. In the meantime around age 14, I started getting into the guitar and even took a few lessons here and there. A lot of what I could do so easily on the guitar is undeniably due to my extensive training on the violin and the early development of a highly sensitive musical ear. I started playing a lot of guitar by the time I got to college, playing in a few bands with friends doing coffee shop gigs, house parties, and open mics. At the time I was getting heavily into improvisation and writing my own original material. Over the past several years I have delved into playing music more than ever, gathering inspiration from a vast collection of influences, especially the sounds of the great folk, bluegrass, blues, and rock artists past and present. In that time I have developed tremendous passion for singing and songwriting and perform regularly at open mics, and other small venues. Lately I have also taken to playing mandolin and banjo, and I apply these instruments to my current musical projects.
To pass on and inspire young students to achieve a wealth of knowledge and appreciation for music, and show how it’s applied to playing the violin, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and vocals. To help students build rapport in performance as solo musicians, as well as in a group context.
Has 23 years of experience on the violin, 15 years on the guitar, 8 years on the mandolin, and 1 year learning the 5 string banjo. Took Suzuki violin lessons from 1987-1999 with private teacher Bonnie Hudson. Played First Chair Violin in High School Orchestra and also played violin for the Northern Virginia Youth Symphony from 1995-1997. Learned to sight read and developed more acute skills during those years and applied it to the audition required to study for the strings department at James Madison University. Attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts for the Summer of 2000, focusing on jazz theory for guitar. Has completed a degree in Audio Production at the Art Institute of Washington and is currently a local performing artist, playing mandolin, guitar, banjo, fiddle and vocals in the Rock/Folk band “Norman Rockwell”. Spent the past 2 years performing original songs as a singer/songwriter at local open mics and small venues such as Jammin Java, the Soundry, the Old Brogue, and Axum’s Level X Lounge. Has also done some teaching on guitar, banjo, and violin independently.
EDUCATION and TRAINING
2008-2010 Art Institute, Audio Production
1999-2001 James Madison University, School of Music, General Studies
2000 Berklee School of Music, Jazz Theory, Guitar
Foxes Music Company
Falls Church, VA
Applies knowledge as a stringed instrument specialist by helping customers with instrument repairs, rentals and sales.
2008-2009 Barista, Starbucks Coffee Company
Falls Church, VA
Applies customer service skills and strong work ethic to daily tasks.
2007-2008 Carpenter, E.M. Castle Construction
Worked long hours completing high quality projects.
2006-2007 Driver, Twinbrook Floral Design
Delivered flowers in precise and timely manner.
2003-2006 Carpenter, Dening Seven Design
Acquired skills in framing, installation, and finish carpentry.
Most Influential Musicians/Bands: Jerry Garcia, Bela Fleck, Chris Thile, Derek Trucks, Duane Allman, Martin Hayes, Mark O’Connor, David Grisman, Tony Rice, Neil Young, Trey Anastasio, Ravi Shankar, Earl Scruggs, Sam Bush, Taj Mahal, James Taylor, Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, John Frusciante, John Mayer, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Gillian Welch, John Hartford, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Ray LaMontagne, Bob Marley, Paul Simon, Hank Williams, Ledbelly, Harry Nilsson, Eva Cassidy, Allison Krauss, Nina Simone…….. to name a few, I’m leaving way too many awesome musicians out.
Bands: Grateful Dead, Punch Brothers, Sublime, Little Feat, The Band, Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin, Medeski Martin and Wood, Blues Traveler, Phish, Crooked Still, The Roots, Pink Floyd, Black Crowes, Infamous Stringdusters, Opeth, Tallest Man On Earth, The Beatles, Widespread Panic, The Police, Wilco, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Burning Spear, Nirvana, Primus, Decemberists, Iron & Wine, Pretty Lights, Mumford And Sons, Tool…. to name a few.
Music is what feelings sound like.
The Big Lebowski, Spaceballs, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, No Direction Home: Bob Dylan
Places Traveled: Denmark, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Chicago, Most of the East Coast, Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Cananda
How would your friends describe you?:
Talented, creative, charming, witty, clever, laid back, polite, reliable
Listening to music, recording music, playing guitar, playing mandolin, fiddling, playing banjo, writing songs, singing, reading, philosophy, hiking, baseball
Tags: american music, arlington va, banjo, bluegrass music, blues, david grisman, earl scruggs, Fairfax, falls church, guitar, guitar banjo, guitars, instructor, mandolin, media technology, music, Music Lessons, play music, play violin, string instruments, suzuki method, tony rice, Violin, violin lessons, violin teacher, violins
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