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Chris Chimene -
Guitar, Songwriting

Where and how did you get your start in music?

I started playing guitar two months before my seventeenth birthday. I practiced between six to eight hours a day trying to learn songs and new chords. I jammed with a few people frequently and played at church, it was there I started learning how to play lead guitar. I took my first formal lesson in college from Mrs. Terrie Fleming where I first learned proper technique and how to read sheet music. Since then I studied under several instructors in various styles and continue to study independently.

What is your favorite style of music to play/ What is your primary instrument?
I love improvisation. The idea of playing whatever comes at the time is both challenging and exciting. My primary instrument is guitar.

Who is your favorite composer/musician?
I don’t have an overall favorite musician but if I had to choose it would be Beethoven. We have “similar” attitudes according to his letters, somewhat.

What inspired you to teach/what do you enjoy about teaching?
I have a natural tendency – wanting to help people succeed if I’m able to. What I enjoy about teaching is helping students succeed by working with them through the challenging times.

How do you motivate students to practice?
Personal responsibility is something I teach from day one. I think as a teacher I can only be responsible for gauging what is challenging enough yet not impossible to achieve. I tell the students that if they want to become players they have to play as much as possible.

What are some unique things you do to make a positive impact on students’ musical growth?
I adapt to the student’s interest. I give them what they need to play what they want to play and help them to recognize why and what they are playing in the process.

If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
Don’t have a clue. I guess Maple
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