Eric is a multi-instrumentalist, teacher, sound engineer, ColLABorate band leader, songwriter, and comedian. When he's not at The Voice Lab, Eric can be seen performing improv theater.
What makes your teaching style unique?
It's important to know that most of my musical knowledge comes from trial and error. I love the torment, anguish, and ultimate reward of learning something new. As a multi-instrumentalist, song writer, and audio engineer, I've learned many different things in many different ways. I taught myself most of these skills, and I love leading others down that same path of independence. I try to be as hands off as possible and let the student discover their own rhythm, confidence, and capabilities.
When did you begin your musical journey?
It started when I first saw my cousin's drum kit. I was very young, but I was obsessed. From then on, I only paid attention to the percussion in songs, and for years, to my parents' horror, I wanted to play drums. For every occasion a gift was involved, I only asked for a drum kit. Eventually, my parents caved and I got my first set (along with lessons). I had an interest in writing lyrics, and drums weren't the best accompaniment to woo the muse. So, I started to teach myself guitar. I started recording what I played on individual instruments and meshing them together to form songs. This led me to learn other instruments and the art of engineering. I currently play the drums, bass, guitar, piano, ukulele, harmonica, voice, and a mean kazoo. I'm always looking to master new instruments and techniques, but it all started with my love of the drums.
When did you join the Voice Lab?
I wasn't happy with the progress I was making with my singing, so I started taking lessons at The Voice Lab. I loved the atmosphere and looked for ways to get involved. Word got out that I knew a thing or two about sound engineering and songwriting, and so they asked me to share my knowledge with others. Always get involved!
Why do you teach?
I teach because I love it. Watching a student learn the answer to a question, only to ask the next question in the cycle is a beautiful experience. Music is an extension of yourself. It is an expression, and everyone deserves the chance to sing, play, or write whatever they want. I teach for that face a student makes that says, "Wait, I actually CAN do this." I love being a part of that journey of self discovery.
How do you describe your lessons?
My methods are all about self exploration and simple techniques. I put the student in the driver seat and let them choose the path we go down. A lot of my tactics are about getting you to believe in yourself, and giving your voice and individuality value. The simple techniques are important for this: You can modify them to cater your needs. I will constantly remind you what you are doing is art, and you shouldn't judge yourself harshly. I'll help you set realistic goals, and then work with you to realize them.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about taking lessons?
Do it. I say this as someone who strongly believes anything can be learned with or without conventional instruction. I've learned many things on my own, but signing up for vocal lessons was the best decision I could have made. Instruction with the right person will always increase the speed, accuracy, and proficiency you learn the skill. You know your own limitations, and if you are thinking about taking lessons: That's a sign. Don't second guess yourself or put it off. Songwriting, singing, and music in general have so many complex parts that are easy to get lost in. Give yourself an edge by getting an instructor who knows how to navigate those complexities and who can help you reach your full potential.