Quick Facts about Lauren
- Teaches age 10 and up Beginner-intermediate electric bass (bass guitar), double (classical) bass, & jazz bass
- 8 years playing and performance experience on the bass
- Teaches age 7 and older beginner piano and drums
- Experience with music therapy for children on the autism spectrum and with other disabilities
- Experience performing on bass in a pit orchestra for school musicals (Mamma Mia, The Little Mermaid)
- Specializes in multiple styles, including rock, alternative, experimental, folk/bluegrass, jazz, blues, funk, r&b, classical, and soundtrack music (video games/movies/anime)
- Played bass in school orchestra and jazz band all through middle and high school, as well as other large ensembles including Seattle JazzED's Girl Ellington Project jazz band and the Maple Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra
- 1.5 years in audio engineering and music production program at Shoreline Community College
Learn more about Lauren
General Teaching Style
Very laid back, centered around having fun and training your ears to appreciate music in small aspects as well as the big picture. Sometimes rigorous schooling and training, while it does help you improve, can be stressful and take the enjoyment out of music - therefore my goal is to help the student gain enthusiasm and motivation, on top of useful skills and techniques that will allow them to learn any song they want.
While much of my curriculum is personalized for each student based on their wishes/goals, I will have a list of songs prepared (organized by difficulty) that we will progress through. Each song is chosen to teach a certain useful skill that we will practice.
We'll start out just getting comfortable with the instrument, and learning to read shorthand/tablature. As we progress I will guide the student through the fundamentals of music theory, working up to reading more complex sheet music.
I use a lot of repetitive scale exercises that help build muscle memory and finger strength, as well as rhythm exercises for locking in your internal metronome.
I encourage studying techniques and playing styles of famous and influential bassists (such as Flea, Esperanza Spalding, James Jamerson, Carole Kaye, etc.) as well as explaining what I have found works best for me in my own experience playing.
I want to help the student feel extremely comfortable with their instrument, and confident enough in their skills to be able to play with others casually or in a band/orchestra. Improvisation is a big focus - they should have the capability to learn any song, even if they have to change some of the notes to make it easier to play.
Focus & Goals of the First Lesson
In their first lesson with me, students can expect to cover the very basics, including how to properly hold and play the instrument, how to get a good sound from it, what note names the open strings are called, and how to count up half steps on the fretboard. Once the student is set up to play somewhat comfortably, they can give me a song they've been wanting to learn and I can help them learn it, or if they're not sure I'll have some easy and recognizable songs ready to teach. Either way, they will go home with something to practice!
If the student already knows the basics, we'll jump right into working on a song - either of their choice, or something that I think is at the right level for them.
They can think of it as a guided jam session, where we will listen to a song and pick out the rhythm(s) and/or bassline from it (with support from some tablature), and as we play I'll watch their technique and give advice/tips.
This will be the same for students of all ages.
Engaging and Patient Teacher
While I don't have much experience teaching specifically music, I have taught other subjects to children and teens related to art and STEM. My strengths include keeping easily distracted students engaged in activities by gently but effectively bringing their attention back to the task at hand. I am very patient with students and will never make them feel pressured or judged if they are struggling with something.
As someone who used to be very shy and reserved (and still is, to an extent), I understand how it feels to lack confidence in your ability and be hesitant to play in front of, or with, other people. I want to do everything I can to help you come out of your shell and experience the joy and value in sharing music.
Most Inspirational Music Moments and Experiences
My most inspirational music moment was probably the first time I ever performed in a rock band with some peers when I was about 15 years old. All the performances I'd had previously were for things like school orchestra or choir - which were fun, but playing on stage (that wasn't in an auditorium) with this four-person band was the first time I felt like a true musician. We chose the songs ourselves and learned them in our own time, and we got along and connected well with each other, becoming good friends through music. I still keep in touch with two of them, one of whom is still one of my best friends to this day.
I never would have had this experience if my bass teacher at the time hadn't encouraged me to sign up for the program (it was through the music school he taught at) - and I was only confident enough to do so because of all he had taught me!
Playing music is valuable in itself, but playing with other people who match your level and enthusiasm is something I think every young musician should get to experience as much as possible. If I'm able to help a student feel confident enough to jam/play with others and connect with people through music, I believe that to be a success.
Top 3 Desert Island Albums
Heaven or Las Vegas - Cocteau Twins
Disintegration - The Cure
Melophobia - Cage the Elephante