Instruments Taught: Piano (beginning through advanced), Guitar (beginning through advanced), Bass (beginning through advanced), Drums (beginning & intermediate), Ukulele (beginning through advanced)
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Years playing: 20+
Teaching: Since 2012
Musical Influences: Funk, Soul, Rock, Hip Hop, Jazz, Electronic, World, and more.
Education: Bachelor of Arts Degree from Northwestern University
Musical Projects: Muncie, O Presidente, Berel Alexander and the Make Moves.
Key teaching concepts: Specific musical goals of each student, having a good ear, rhythm and feel, reading music, and understanding basic music theory. As a teacher, I try to constantly challenge my students and push them to improve while balancing that with the fun and playful sides of music that can help motivate students to stick with it.
Book/Methods Used: Alfred’s Basic Piano Library, Simandl & Hanon Method (Piano), Hal Leonard Guitar Method, Alfred’s Drum Method, Syncopation (drums)
Teaching Days: Mondays & Thursdays
Like many young students that come to us at Music Time Academy, Swen’s first introduction to music education was piano lessons (at the age of 5). After years of piano, Swen changed his musical focus to bass, and by age 12, he was playing with various rock bands and school ensembles. As a bassist, Swen continued on to study music at Northwestern University in Chicago, where he earned a Music minor in Jazz Studies, with a focus on Upright Bass.
Since his return to the Bay Area after college, Swen has been working as both a music instructor and freelancing bassist. As a teacher, he strives to focus on students’ specific musical goals. “But, there are some general skills that I think all music students should be working on,” says Swen. “These include: having a good ear, having good rhythm and feel, being able to read, and understanding basic music theory.” Swen aims to constantly challenge students and push them to improve, while balancing the more difficult and challenging aspects with the fun and playful sides of music that can help motivate students to stick with it. As a music-maker of over two decades, Swen obviously knows a little bit about what it means to sick with music! Still actively performing on a regular basis, Swen can currently be seen playing music across the Bay Area (and beyond) with the groups Muncie, O Presidente, and Berel Alexander and the Make Moves.