Welcome to the Singingwood web site
Singingwood Music is the music studio and music business of John Blasquez, located in Walnut Creek, California (in the San Francisco Bay Area).
If this is your first visit to this web site, please look around. You'll find many valuable resources and information about local events.
John Blasquez has over four decades of experience playing music, and 35 years experience teaching fiddle, classical violin, guitar and mandolin to children and adults in private lessons.
Although John directs most of his energy to teaching private lessons, he also teaches workshops, group classes, and coaches musical groups, including his own ongoing workshops:
Music Connection for Kids
The Horizon Workshop
Fiddling for Violinists
Acoustic Instruments 101
Occasionally he teaches on staff at summer music camps including:
He's led workshops at festivals such as the:
The CBS's Father's Day Bluegrass Festival
Strawberry Music Festival
... as well as workshops for the San Francisco's Cooley-Keegan Branch of the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. He's also taught for the Contra Costa chapter of the Suzuki Violin Foundation, teaching fiddle for their Spring concerts.
And in 2008 he launched his music education web site: www.TheoreticallyCorrect.com
If you've ever watched John coach a student or lead a workshop, or if you've seen the careful materials that he creates for his students, you understand his passion for teaching.
Patient, encouraging, understanding, humorous, supportive, motivating, and creative, he knows how to boost students out of a rut, slow them from an overly rapid assent, and steer them out of a downward spiral. He's able to explain and guide at any level. And he always strives to get students to use their practice time efficiently.
Click here to see some Endorsements from parents and students.
An award winning instrumentalist, John has performed since age twelve. From his mid-twenties through mid-thirties he performed extensively, usually three to five times a week. John still performs, but less often now mostly now at private events such as parties and celebrations.
Music Lessons for Children and Adults
John is especially skilled at teaching young children. He easily establishes a friendly, encouraging, respectful rapport with kids, no matter if they're shy or energetic. He teaches then how to structure their practice, switching between activities anytime they feel bored or frustrated.
John likes working with students of different levels and backgrounds, often take beginning adult students who have had no prior experience playing music.
In addition to teaching technique and repertoire, John teaches many aspects of musicianshipmost importantly practice and study skills.
Click here for some Practice Tips
John has created an extensive collection of teaching materials. They are of the highest quality. Professionally prepared, they equal or surpass the music books sold by large music publishers.
His lesson materials include:
- Clear introductory explanations
- Standard music notation treble and bass clef.
- Tablature a simplified form of music notation.
- Warm-ups and exercises that concise are effective
- Recordings to support practice
- Rhythm studies
- Worksheets, music theory charts, and games.
- Music for group participation
- Practice Guides lists of study skills and goals
He has created guides on subjects such as:
- Accelerated learning
- Learn music by ear
- How to quickly memorize music
- How to use an electronic tuner
- Recommended Accessories (available online)
In his lessons, John uses certain violin exercise books and various pieces from the standard violin repertoire. But his students are particularly enthusiastic about his own arrangements and the supporting exercises that he's designed to accompany them. Nevertheless, when repertoire is well taught, few exercises are requiredeach piece has all that is needed within.
John has self-published much of his work. In 2001 he launched his professional publishing career by writing an article for the August-September 2001 issue of Strings Magazine entitled "Start a Home Studio."
John is particularly fond of the music of the Baroque era. He has created numerous arrangements of baroque compositions, including: transpositions, abridgments, reductions, duets, trios and quartets, and arrangements for solo performance.
For instance, John has created several abridged arrangements of the beautiful and popular Kanon in D by Johann Pachelbel. One of these arrangements has been performed locally by the Young Performer's String Orchestra. Pachelbel's Kanon is a well-loved piece. And it works quite well as an introductory material for the violin. Beginning students usually start working on it within two to four weeks.
John has created many arrangements for smaller groups: three violins with piano or guitar accompaniment; and an arrangement for solo violin and piano or guitar.
John is a great fan of Johann Sebastian Bach, and so he's created numerous publications of Bach's work, including Bach's keyboard partitas, the Well-Tempered Clavier, the French Suites, the Italian Suites, and the organ Trio Sonatas.
He's reworked selected movements from Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, making them playable as violin duets. He's transposed several movements to easier keys; he's also transposed several movements from Bach's Cello Suites for solo violin.
And he created adaptations of works by other composers, such as Handel's and Corelli's Concerto Grossi
various Chopin waltzes arranged for guitar and violin. Haydn baryton duets for two violins. Terrega's famous guitar solo, Recuerdos de Alhambra, arranged for guitar and mandolin, or for two guitars.
John uses some of his own compositions for study and performance, including his series of "Two String Concertos." These are beautiful pieces, written specifically for young and beginning students. Here is his Two String Concerto No. 1. Each Two String Concerto is particularly easy for beginning violinists, because the entire melody is played on the violin's A and E strings.
John teaches many different styles of music besides classical, including American fiddle, Celtic music from Ireland, Scotland and Brittany. Folk music, Blues, Swing, Jazz, Ragtime. And international music: Latin, Greek, and Balkan music, the list goes on.