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Guitar Instruction Poetry Instruction

Guitar Instruction
Susan Hoover has taught guitar extensively to individuals and to groups of up to fifteen people.  Her guitar teaching technique consists of theory, guitar, and songwriting to the solo acoustic player via developmental, in-depth study of specifically arranged pieces that enable and encourage the student to get away from “pattern-playing.”  The techniques and repertoire used are many and varied, ranging from classical to contemporary.  The ultimate aim is to enable the student to arrange his or her material in a musically successful and appropriate way on the instrument, as well as to develop the ear and techniques for improvisation.

While Susan’s teaching is highly geared to individual needs, she makes sure her students are grounded in basic aspects of music theory, right hand arpeggio and rhythm styles, chording, progressions, scales, and chord and note co-ordination.

Susan is at home with students of all ages.  In addition to her many adult students, she has successfully taught children from ages seven to 16.

Poetry Instruction
Since 1988 Susan been a poet-in-residence, teaching poetry in various New York area schools, unlocking the joys of poetry to students at the elementary, junior high, and high school levels.

While she strives to foster each student’s creative freedom and inspiration, Susan believes that form and technique are necessary to fully realize one’s potential for poetry.  Just as all of the great visual artists and musical composers of history needed to be solidly grounded in their craft to produce their masterworks, so too, a poet needs to know poetic structure and how to effectively use language in order to successfully create poetry.  Yet Susan makes learning technique engaging in a hands-on environment.  Though she teaches her students how to utilize age-old poetic devices and forms (formal, free-verse, and hybrid), they are not presented in a dry, stuffy, or strictly academic format or manner.  Classes are relaxing, engaging, and fun…and no grades are given.  The only student requirements are curiosity, politeness, and a willingness to search for one’s own unique voice with honesty, courage, and a strong degree of focused engagement.

In Susan’s own words, “A successful poem is one that resonates deeply within us in a place that engages the emotions, the senses, and the intellect simultaneously.  It does so by the poet controlling and manipulating language in ways that make the words leap from the page.  Each word is consciously chosen, a soldier in the army of poetic intent.  Poetry achieves its intended end by ‘showing’ rather than ‘telling.’  The key to doing this lies in being able to, for each poem, choose the best words (diction) in the best order (syntax), for the purpose of creating strong, fresh images that make the reader visualize and feel what the poet is trying to convey.”

While most of Susan’s poetry students have been groups of younger students, her teaching methods and enthusiasm apply to individual private students as well, of any age.