For those of us who feel that we are constantly in a creative debt to the Muse…

I’ve spent pretty much my entire life feeling creatively unfulfilled. One of those ‘too many ideas, not enough time’ kind of people. As a musician, I have found that thousands of hours of practice have helped my playing ability keep up with what my imagination and my ears can do, and I’ve been working on packaging what I’ve learned about practice into a ‘secret sauce’ that I can offer to others in a shorter period of time.

‘The Intensive” is a solution where there is a course that averages 20 hours of deep practice to learn the most useful aspects of a new skill. Those hours could be coached 1-on-1 or taken through guided video lessons or a mixture of both. Principles of performance psychology, accelerated learning, and language immersion are combined into one experience designed to help adult learners break out of creative ruts they have been stuck in for years in a matter of 1-2 weekends.

This is not an exaggeration but rather the norm. I myself apply this strategy to my own creative blocks, and the dozen or so subjects I have gotten through intensives so far have said the same.

  • In a one-weekend pluck and chuck intensive, a student was able to learn 3 songs that he had mentioned he wanted to learn when I met him 3 years previous. He had not even started the songs when we began the intensive.
  • Another took a summer in grad school when she had down time and learned to play ukulele from scratch with no previous experience. She sent me a video of her playing a song with her siblings before we even finished the 20 hour block.
  • Still another was able to learn to build and connect all her pentatonic boxes and start basic blues licks. This laid a foundation she can continue to open up in her melodic and fingerstyle playing.

Some intensives are carefully designed in advance and the formula is refined and adapted with each student that runs a known path. The 20 Hour Ukulele Challenge is an example, where the student can expect to know how to play songs with many chord changes and complex strumming patterns by the end of the training. Other courses are tailored specifically to the goals of the student. Several students have asked me for a guided experience of Pluck ‘n Chuck, How to Freestyle Rap, and a number of other subjects from singing on pitch to mastering melodic soloing.

The training is usually executed on a weekday morning or weekend schedule. In the weekday model, the first 2 hours of each weekday for two weeks gets dedicated to practice. In the weekend model, 4 hours on four weekend days gets most of the training done and a few slush hours are made up before or after the core training days. No matter the schedule, I use a cocktail of specialized training techniques to ensure fast, safe and lasting progress on our target skills.

For intensives that are fully coached (all of the hours are done with a private teacher), the student pays a fee before the course begins (which can be refunded if the student can’t complete or if results for the student are not as described). For a flat fee of $500, this includes:

  • Pre and post consulting sessions
  • 10 hours of private coaching
  • Course materials
  • Capstone project

For some clients, I would be willing to travel to your location to coach you. Message me privately about this. It depends on where you are located, but I like to travel for movements arts, meeting friends and fans, and just to expand my horizons. It may be possible to arrange to have your intensive coached in person if we can figure out a workable plan X-D