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"Kraus makes everything he does with his instrument sound easy, although there is nothing easy about it. His sound is warm, his articulation is clean, and his playing exhales mature confidence and the ability to communicate." <i>Ray Tuttle - Fanfare Magazine</i></b> I've been exploring the mysteries of music since the age of eight, yet the sense of enchantment I felt in its magic was instilled well before I picked up my first instrument. Even as my innocent attempts to create something close to a pleasing sound showed me I had much to learn, it was still music to my ears, and a universe of infinite time and space opened inside of me. As an avid student of all things musical, I've merged my background in jazz and classical music with a fascination for the sounds of non-Western cultures. I am an award winning composer, writing and arranging for jazz ensembles, my world fusion ensemble, the classical and jazz guitar, and for film. I always strive to create what feels right and honest to me, having learned through experience that it is counterproductive to work toward everyone liking you. You have to present who you are with grace, sincerity, and open feeling. Because at the end when the music is shared, it will be the immediacy of this feeling that the listener will experience. <b>"The individual pieces ebb and flow, never sacrificing compositional integrity to guitaristic self indulgence. Here is a player's technical prowess mingled with a discerning composer's intent, yet the passion of the performance is the overriding impression left in the listener's ear." <i>Chip Wilson - The Bridge</i></b> <b><i>Guitar Lessons - A Complete Method</i></b> All Skill Levels Welcome My wholly original method for teaching is clear and concise for any skill level. The learning process includes left hand techniques for scales, arpeggios, simple and complex chord fingerings, extensive use of right hand techniques for fingerpicking, flat picking, and strumming, since this is the hand which creates almost all of the rhythms used in any piece of guitar music, applicable music theory which becomes tremendously useful for understanding the music you are playing and for creatively expanding the musical breadth of a piece yourself, improvisation in many styles, and finally, what I refer to as "guitar mechanics" which means literally how the guitar fingerboard is laid out and the physical and geometric relationship between frets and strings, making the fingerboard more easily "visualized" by a guitarist and understood by you as a player and/or composer/writer. Lessons are organized, with everything needed being written and printed out so a student has in front of them all they need to practice at home. I work to insure everything in the lesson is understood by the student before you leave my studio so there will be no confusion and wasted time at home being perplexed about what needs to be practiced and how. I use explanation, thorough demonstration, which you then imitate until you understand, see, hear, and feel the music to be played. I also answer any questions you have throughout the lesson...and there may be quite a few :) My method is proven to work for anyone from ages ten to 80, beginner, intermediate, professionals seeking to expand their knowledge and abilities, and highschool students looking seriously to pursue a college education in music and move on to a professional career. My method is practically foolproof, and once you see, hear, and experience it, I guarantee you will be hooked and feel much more confident that you indeed can learn music if you haven't before, and can especially learn to make music on and through this attractive wooden box with its shapely curves and shimmering strings.