Hi! My name is Coire Walker and I am a guitarist and teacher. Recently I relocated from Brooklyn, NY, back home to San Diego. I have been playing guitar for twenty-five years, and I've been teaching people how to play guitar for twelve. In my approach to teaching I like to balance the technical and creative elements of music to build my students into innovative, self-aware musicians. Lessons are low-pressure and fun, and all ages are welcome.
My music degree is from Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, CA.
Lessons are either 45min or 60min in length (contact for current rates). Students are encouraged to thoughtfully construct playlists to provide me with a sense of what they love most about music and what songs they would like to learn. My approach to teaching is flexible: I can provide very structured practice and study, or approach lessons very laid back and spontaneous. Every student learns differently, and that's what makes teaching music so interesting for me. Primary lesson objectives revolve around realistic, attainable goals for the short and longterm that my students and I create together. Providing a working understanding of music theory is very important to me, and it's tremendously rewarding to watch my students grow into well-rounded, fully-functional musicians.
Regarding musical styles, I teach all genres of music except advanced jazz and classical guitar--these are their own discipline and I do not claim to have mastery of them (but we can play with them as much as you like!) Some styles I enjoy are rock, funk, punk, folk, reggae, and fingerstyle guitar. Lesson topics taught include music theory, songwriting, reading, ear training, strumming and picking techniques, singing and playing simultaneously, soloing, chord composition and harmony, live performing, and working on student compositions. If you are in a band and looking to challenge your playing further I can work alongside you in that regard as well.
Playing a musical instrument is not easy, and I am deeply passionate about supporting and encouraging my students every step of the way. Lesson time is always focused on what is best for my student and how to get them where they want to be; I consider myself merely a resource for that success.
Most importantly, my intention as a teacher is to make sure you enjoy the musical process as we move forward together.
I became a guitar player purely by chance, when I discovered a broken classical guitar in my next door neighbor's trash bin. My father glued it back together and figured it would keep me out of trouble (which, in retrospect, has been debatable). Twenty-five years later, here we are.
There's a certain intimacy, a powerful expressive connection with the guitar--your fingers are always on the strings, connected to the sound you're making; it forces you to be in the moment, to focus, and hopefully, to feel. The freedom I've found in playing guitar is unlike anything else, and helping my students find their own personal sense of musical freedom is what teaching guitar is all about for me.
I've found that everyone learns differently, and at their own pace. What's really important to focus on is the process--the journey--not the destination, not whether you can nail a certain lick by a certain date--those things will come, in time. What really matters is that you're present for the task at hand, connecting with the practice itself, and that you are having fun, finding that place within yourself that is a balance of work and play. Playing guitar is a labor of love, no doubt.
It's amazing when I take a student who has never picked up a guitar and then look back months or years later and see the musician they have become. Traveling such a distance often feels effortless, and happens seemingly overnight. And every student has a different musical spirit, different strengths, different weaknesses, different interests, and they all carve different, unique paths unto themselves. Formally, I am the guide, and the resource for their success, however looking back they are always the ones who unknowingly end up leading the way.
Back in NYC I had a student for six years named Jacob. We started lessons together when he received his first guitar. We began by working on single string ideas, then basic blues riffs, open chords, then moved to barre chords etc. We worked on songs he enjoyed, tailoring them to his current skill level at the time. I watched him write his own music and ask me for feedback and ideas on where we could take riffs he was stuck on. He learned to read tabs, chords, notation, and got a solid theory foundation. Jacob went to the Berkley College of Music (in Boston) for a summer program, after I helped him prepare for the audition. Today he plays faster than I can! Jacob turned me on to a lot of great artists as well, and he would end up challenging me as an instructor, pushing me into new areas of my own playing; we were exploring music often as equals, adventurers in foreign terrain--what a blast it was! Sometimes I wish I'd never left NY because we really had a great thing going.
I've always done my best to have a healthy, honest relationship with music, and for me this meant taking an untraditional approach to practicing. Becoming the next guitar hero or playing blazing fast wasn't interesting enough to make me practice--it wasn't musical to me; approaching the guitar this way got old, fast.
What was interesting to me was making good music. By understanding why it sounded the way that it did, and applying my knowledge of music theory in creative self-made practice experiments, I found tremendous momentum and my ears ended up taking me places that aren't in textbooks. Most importantly, I was practicing from a place that felt musical and made sense to me, but I recognize that's just what I personally needed to grow.
There is always a box to be stuck within, no matter how much you know. One of my teachers once told me: "You end up playing the way that you practice". I have also found this true, and this is why I work alongside my students to make sure they are approaching music in a way that they feel works for their individual goals and drives them forward most effectively, because my greatest intention as a teacher is to bring out the inner musician in each of them.
I give lessons at La Jolla Music at various times throughout the week, including Saturdays. Lessons are also offered in-home in La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and Clairemont, and online through Skype and Facetime. Feel free to contact me for current rates and firstname.lastname@example.org