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Guitar & Bass

Our top-notch faculty covers a huge range of styles, from jazz to folk, from hard rock to Renaissance lute music. Come to a guitar department recital and you're likely to hear a Led Zeppelin song followed by a Carcassi etude; a Charlie Parker tune followed by a student composition. The guitar department is all about excellence, regardless of style. We'll teach you to take a serious, academic approach to your favorite rock songs, or introduce you to the rich classical guitar repertoire. We also offer unique, small ensembles for jazz and rock guitarists and bassists.

Eric Baldwin
guitar: all styles; beginner ukulele class

B.M. in Jazz Guitar, New England Conservatory. Principal teachers: Gene Bertoncini, Robert Sullivan

Eric Baldwin freelances in the New England area with many of the area's top jazz musicians, including Brad Terry, Dave Whitney and Alan Dawson. He is a member of the JEM Jazz Trio and also leads his own jazz combos. Eric is well-versed in popular styles, with a repertory of hundreds of songs at his disposal, whether working as a sideman, leading an ensemble or playing solo guitar. He performs regularly at several local restaurants, usually with a jazz duo or trio adding to the ambiance. He also doubles on banjo and performs with several Dixieland Jazz Bands, such the Riverboat Stompers, Jambalaya, and the Blue Horizon Jazz Band. Recently Eric has been collaborating with fellow Indian Hill guitar instructor Jamie Dunphy and fellow bass instructor Justin Meyer performing the music of early jazz guitarist Eddie Lang and violinist Joe Venuti.

"My teaching philosophy is designed to motivate the student by helping them feel good about himself/herself. When a student is frustrated I encourage him/her to remember why they picked up the guitar in the first place. While I believe in maintaining a consistent practice schedule, the time put in doesn’t have to be massive but it should be consistent and almost daily."

Jamie Dunphy
guitar: all styles - Guitar & Jazz Department Chair

B.A., University of Massachusetts-Boston; M.M., University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Additional studies with Charlie Banacos and Olav Chris Henriksen

Jamie DunphyJamie Dunphy has been an active Boston-area performer and teacher for the last fifteen years. He has performed nationally with the original jazz group, Mill City Trio, which presented a series of workshops and concerts in New York, New Jersey and New England in 2010 featuring "The Syncopated Bird," an original large-scale composition for jazz trio and narrator. Most recently, Jamie has been exploring various aspects of historical performance and guitar history. He performs on lute and guitar in duo settings with Chris Henriksen, vocalist Jill Noddin, and fellow Indian Hill faculty member Greg Passler. In addition to teaching and chairing Indian Hill’s Guitar and Jazz Department, Jamie also teaches guitar and guitar ensembles at The Groton School.

Regarding his teaching style, Jamie says: “Everyone learns differently, and what works best for each of us can change over time. It's not about mastering a single piece. I want all of my students to develop a set of skills that will enable them to play a wide range of music. I believe in using the highest quality music at every level.”

Justin Meyer
bass: acoustic and electric

B.A. in Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; M.M., Longy School of Music under Charlie Banacos. Additional studies at Berklee College of Music

Justin Meyer performs throughout New England in a wide variety of musical settings. In addition to leading his own bands, he has played and/or recorded with the Orchestra of Indian Hill, The Four Freshman, The New Black Eagle Jazz Band, Bucky Pizzarelli, David Amram, Toni Lynn Washington, Chris Trapper, Greg Hopkins, and Jerry Bergonzi, among many others.

"My goal as a teacher is for my students to have fun playing the kinds of music that they want to play, and to become better musicians as they do so. Students should also make an active effort to practice as regularly as their schedules will allow. I teach both the electric and the acoustic bass, and have had students who have been interested in everything from classical and jazz to bluegrass, pop, and rock of all sorts. One of the best things about playing bass is that there are numerous playing opportunities available to the advancing student. Fortunately, the principles of good bass playing apply to all genres of music!"

Gregory Passler
guitar: all styles

B.M. in Jazz Performance, University of Massachusetts–Lowell. Principal teachers: Neil Anderson, Benjamin Verdery, Robert Guthrie, Ran Blake, Prasanna Ramaswamy

GPasslerMulti-faceted guitarist/composer Greg Passler has recorded and performed in a wide variety of styles—from experimental ambient soundscapes to acoustic jazz. As a member of the rock band Childhood, he appeared on MTV and recorded on the British record label Barracuda Blue. As part of the experimental instrumental group Magonia, he licensed an extensive music catalog for television and film, with compositions featured in dramatic, documentary and reality TV formats. Greg’s solo recordings have been featured in Guitar Player and Guitar magazines, and his latest CD release, Unframed (2014S), is an eclectic collection of his original jazz compositions performed on acoustic guitar. Along with fellow Indian Hill Music faculty member Jamie Dunphy, Greg has performed and recorded original jazz with the popular Boston-based Mill City Trio. In addition to his work at Indian Hill Music, he also teaches guitar at Groton School.

Greg describes his teaching style as "collaborative with the hope of creating mutual goals for students of all ages. Throughout the course of lessons, input, both positive and negative, from the student is greatly encouraged. In this way, it is my hope that my students can develop and enhance their individual learning while developing their own tastes in a variety of musical styles."

Joey Pierog
ukulele

B.M., Berklee College of Music

Joey Pierog has performed as bass player with the popular New Hampshire-based children’s music group, Steve Blunt ‘n’ Friends. He has also toured Europe and the UK three times with artist Christian Cuff. Joey has recorded two albums and plays regularly in the Boston area and throughout New England as an upright bass player and vocalist with his bluegrass band, The Four Legged Faithful. He has shared the stage with such artists as B.B. King, Greg Hawkes (of The Cars), and former Tower of Power front man William Edward McGee. His steady performing on stage and as a session musician, and his knack for versatility, has made him one of New England's premier bass players. Joey also works at the world class Rocking Horse Studios in Pittsfield New Hampshire as an engineer and producer as well as teaching classes in our early childhood music program, Music for Aardvarks.

Joey’s personal mission is to share that love and appreciation of music and help guide children (of all ages) through the beginnings of their own musical journeys. He says that "music appreciation is innate in young people and if encouraged, can grow to contribute to a more cultured, intelligent and ultimately happier human being."

Berit Strong
classical guitar

B.M., Hartt School of Music; M.M., New England Conservatory. Principal teachers: David Leisner and Neil Anderson

Berit Strong has performed solo guitar and chamber music throughout New England and Europe for some 30 years. One of her biggest accomplishments in 2016 was performing the lead guitar part in the Boston University Opera production of “Angels in America” by the modern Hungarian composer Peter Eotvoes. She also recently offered a solo concert featuring the legacy and repertoire of the great Andres Segovia on Indian Hill’s “Bach’s Lunch” Concert Series. In 1999, she was a featured guest soloist with The Orchestra of Indian Hill. Berit has performed in numerous masterclasses with Oscar Ghiglia, and strives to continue his legacy as a teacher of dynamic interpretations and a holistic injury prevention approach towards the guitar. From 1986-1988 she studied in Milan, Italy, with musicologist and conservatory professor Ruggero Chiesa, who helped her gain a deeper understanding of technique and musical styles. She has also been a guest lecturer at Boston Conservatory, Hartt School of Music, and Tufts University.

Berit brings an unusual depth and set of skills to her teaching of the classical guitar at Indian Hill for the past 20 years. Having the great opportunity to study with some of America’s and Italy’s finest guitarists she custom-tailors her studio to offer age-appropriate materials and injury prevention techniques to this complex instrument. Advanced students, professionals, and other guitar teachers have consulted or studied privately with her, and some of her students have won competitions and have attended top notch conservatories. Berit’s most recent accomplishment was to become certified in the Suzuki Guitar Method for young children, studying up to Book 2 with the prominent Suzuki Teacher Trainer David Madsen. The response from children ages 5 and up and parents has been enthusiastic and committed.

Non-Discrimination Policy: Indian Hill Music does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, mental or physical disability, veteran status, or any other category protected under applicable law in its admissions, education programs, activities, or employment policies.


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