I would highly recommend Jon to anyone.
I recently discontinued my guitar lessons with Jon solely due to the fact that I am relocating from the Seattle area to Raleigh, NC. I would like to leave my recommendation for Jon as an outstanding teacher for the following reasons.
Jon combines two gifts: the first is his ability to use music as an effective medium for conveying thoughts, moods, emotions and messages into one that appeals to a wide variety of audiences. You may be aware of his efforts to promote social justice via his musical pursuits. Jon does not proselytize for anything while he teaches, but instead helps the student to achieve her/his own level of expression as suits their respective talent levels. He also conveys great insights into how well-known musicians are able to convey their particular styles of performing. In short, Jon is knowledgeable abount many genres and thus able to tailor his lessons to the student accordingly.
His second gift is one of teaching: performing well does not always correlate to being a good instructor. Indeed, it is the mark of a great instructor that the student sometimes doesn’t realize how much s/he is learning at the time. This was true in my experience with Jon: there were many aspects of music theory that, when we first discussed the topic, Jon would emphasize the ability to perform a specific task or drill, rather than ensure I understood why we were doing it. If you remember the movie “The Karate Kid”, I had many “paint the fence” or “sand the floor” moments. In other words, at some point in a later lesson, the application of the theory to the practice would suddenly become obvious to me. This made for both enjoyable lessons while ensuring I would remember the theory for my future development.
It is also worth noting that Jon probably holds the record for the greatest disparity in his student’s ages. For several months, right after our lesson (I am 55 years old), Jon’s next student was a six-year old. For many instructors, this would be a difficult transition, to say the least, but Jon is able to relate to students of all ages and abilities quite well. I would highly recommend him to anyone.