Interested in teaching at Funky Frets? Stop by and introduce yourself, drop off your resumé and we'll proceed from there.
Curt Sheller Guitar, Ukulele, Bass and Beginner Mandolin, Banjo and Piano
Curt had the great privilege and honor of studying with Chuck Anderson for over 30 years. One of the most knowledgeable musicians and educator you'll ever run into. Mainly studying jazz and contemporary guitar, there was no subject off limits. We studied arranging, private teaching, 20th century harmony, performing and working with other musicians, and anything that would come up in the lessons. And, for the last several years I didn't bring the guitar and instead brought my ukulele. Chuck also helped with editing my books and on-line lesson material. Chuck was also a valuable asset leading up to the recording of Curt's 2015 How About More Uke? CD.
Curt is available 7 days a week for lessons
Curt's Personal Teaching Philosophy
- All levels of student are accepted and welcome.
- All lesson material for the student is focused on students achieving their goals - not my goals. It's your lesson NOT mine.
- My goal is NOT to teach you songs but to teach you the principles that are inherent in every song. This will allow you to learn any song and develop your own repertoire and voice.
- Focused, short and frequent practice is often more effective than long practice sessions.
- It is not my function to motivate a student but to help then find their own motivation.
- Any topic that will help you achieve your goals can be covered in the lessons.
- All lessons are customized to the individual students goals. There is NO "One size fits all".
- There are no lesson assignments that are mandatory for every student.
- Rhythm is an often neglected topic for most teachers and one I consider very important. Through Chuck Anderson's Modular Phonetic Rhythm System you'll learn Rhythm as a second language.
- We won't learn "licks" and "riffs". You'll learn the underlying principles behind these "licks" and "riffs". Allowing you to learn, create, and develop your own.
- Lessons focus on developing your Mind, Hands, and Ears. Allowing your musical creativity to come out. Spoiler Alert: for stringed instruments and the piano the hands take the longest to develop – It's the motor skills that take the longest to develop.
- Perseverance and persistence are more important than "talent" and "education".
- If you show up consistently for the lesson you are *guaranteed* progress. The time spent at a lesson is even more important than practice. Don't let a lack of preparation stop you from getting to your lesson. There is always something valuable to do at a lesson above and beyond the assigned lesson material. There is no secret to learning music and a musical instrument - "What ever you put in you will get out."
- Lessons are NOT school and the practice you do at home is NOT homework. Think of it as more like exploration vs. practice. It's NOT "Play, Practice, and Rules." It's "Work, Exploration, and the Principles of Music." Duke Ellington said there are two rules in music., Rule 1: there are not rules in music. Rule 2: See rule one."
- There are no timetables or deadlines on learning anything - Music is no exception.
- Lessons will work on developing your own voice - your own unique personality. There is already a "so-and-so" ( insert your favorite musician here ) out there.
- People that give up NEVER achieve their goals. As long as you don't give up, you will be always moving forward to obtaining your goals. Goals often adjust or change - but forward motion and progress is certain with persistence.
- I teach to help those who have asked for help. I myself have always studied and learned new material. I personally took lessons from the time I was 9 or 10 and continued until just recently and continue to explore new material and revisit and refine what I've already studies. I studied contemporary and jazz guitar as well as anything music related and the music business that I brought up in lessons with Chuck Anderson for well over 30 years of my adult life.
- Generally in music if it sounds good it is good.
- Music is not a competition or sport. The old proverb says "It's the journey - not the destination."
- Although reading standard music notation is not mandatory but IT'S helpful.
- You are not going to learn this or that instrument in 7 days or 30 days. There is no "easy" method, etc... There are no shortcuts but there are many ways to learn efficiently.
- Don't forget to build on a solid musical and technique foundation in your quest to get "advanced".
- Slow and controlled leads to virtuosity. It's all about efficiency of motion. Work *smarter* not *harder*. Speed is a by-product of performing accurately and in-control.
- There are no tests, no grades and no performance reviews. You always go at your own pace.
- I recognize and actually ask why each student is taking lessons. I do not assume that everyone has the same goals, reasons or motivations. It's actually great that we can all develop you own voices in music.
How About More Uke?
Check out Curt's 2015 jazz trio ukulele CD. Curt is one of the owners of Funky Frets, the main teacher and author of over 50 books for ukulele and guitar.
Curt, your CD was fantastic. You are amongst the ukulele masters of our day. - John K.
10 Minute Demo
Hard Copy books are available, in-store a Funky Frets Music Store. PDF downloads are available at www.LearningUkulele.com/books
Ed Rick Drums and Percussion
Ed is a professional, full-time drummer with years of teaching and performance experience.
Ed is a versatile and experienced drummer who has played in a wide range of professional situations. His solid timekeeping and ever evolving style brings a fresh, dynamic sound to any group he works with. Besides his playing, Ed devotes a good deal of time to his teaching practice.
Ed is a member of several bands ranging from the Chuck Anderson Trio and Monkey Business to being the go to drummer for Curt's trio.
Ed is available Monday and Tuesday for lessons
James Daniels Drums
James Daniels is the drummer for the regional touring rock n roll band Chestnut Grove. James has been playing drums in bands since he was 13 years old. This gives James over 15 years of playing experience. James has always played with a group so he really knows how to apply the skills that a student is learning. Specializing in rock n roll, R&B, Blues & Funk style drumming.
In 2015 James’s band Chestnut Grove released their self produced full length album to a sold out crowd at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia PA. Since then he has had over 5 years of professional touring and recording experience. As well as being a full time touring drummer He also is a singer songwriter and guitar player for the group. This makes for a well rounded unique drumming approach. James does not think of the drums from a drummers perspective alone. Being a singing drummer helps him teach students a lot more about the relationship a drum part really has with a song.
As well as touring extensively, producing and recording albums James has taken lessons with Jeff Mann of Consider The Source and still continues educating himself by studying the drums with Jeff and many other professional drummers.
Teaching Focus for Beginners
- fundamentals(Stick Control, Rudiments, how to count/keep time, foot technique etc.)
or more advance students the goal is to expand the students knowledge of genre and rhythm to create more stability and control. while constantly working on bettering technique and strengthening stamina. This is to allow for more creativity.
Well versed in Rock N Roll, R&B, Blues, Pop, Funk, Disco, Folk/Americana, Hip Hop, Rap and much more. If your goal is to learn drums to play in a rock band or just be able to better make beats for your next rap or EDM project or maybe you just want to bang around on the drums for fun. James can give you the fundamentals and skills to be a better drummer and musician. Call and book a lesson today.
James is available on Wednesdays for lessons
Kelly Thompson Ukulele
Kelly is one of the owners of Funky Frets and dedicated to getting new ukulele players off to a great start creating a solid foundation of the basics for future exploration with the ukulele.
Kelly is available 7 days a week for lessons.
Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books! — Peter Rhee
Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the best — Glen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys
Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!
Original Curtie Animation from 1987 for my first web site on a Macintosh II, 35 years ago.