John McCoy's Guitar Background and Education (Resume)

My first playing experience with guitar was when my mother and uncle showed me a few chords at the age of six.  I started taking guitar lessons when I was eight years old.  I learned how to read music and to play the basic chords from my teacher Mr. Hadley.  On my own, I started picking up songs by ear, and I also taught myself how to play finger style guitar.  My father saw potential in my playing and gave me Flamenco lessons at the age of ten from professional guitarist Art Spelias who introduced me to advanced Classical and Flamenco technique.  At age ten I started practicing four hours a day, seven days a week and within six months I was playing clubs, concerts, weddings, and even two half hour radio shows (KPOF Denver) where I played Classical and Flamenco guitar solos.

I studied one year with Rene Heredia, a famous Flamenco concert guitarist.  I studied with Vaughn Andahl who headed the Denver Metropolitan College classical guitar department, and Neill Roan, who headed the guitar department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  I studied advanced music reading and technique from Neill.  At age fifteen I was given a special invitation to attend a master class held by world renowned Miguel Rubio at UNO.  I finished first out of the top eighteen guitarists at the master class.  Miguel Rubio is a Classical concert artist and headed the guitar departments at the conservatories of music in Berne and Lucerne Switzerland, and headed the Guitar School of Spain.  Also at age 15 I played flamenco guitar on the UNO Public TV station the aired on various public tv stations across the Midwest.  A few years ago my friend Mark Tenorio was featured on a 12 minute segment on Denver KWGN TV station showcasing his hand made classical and flamenco guitars ($4000-$5000 masterpieces), where I played and demonstrated his guitars.

 

At age fifteen, I started teaching professionally.  From the age of eighteen I have been teaching full time with seventy plus students per week in the Denver area.  Many of my students have gone on to professional teaching and playing careers including John Lutzow from the group Leviathan, (John was featured in Guitar Player Magazine in a multipage interview), and teacher/professional players, Lonny Anderson, Shon Howard, Steven Cohen, Steven Whitcomb, Matt Parmelee, Chris Carter, Andrew Serr, Ted Hummel, Steve Garland,  Jeff Gleason (now a professor of guitar at Denver Metro University), Phil Grindrod, Josh Schwisow, Rodney Wess, Phil Garcia, and many more over the years. 

 

Over the years I have given hundreds of clinics and concerts to schools in the Denver area.  Many teachers mentioned above use the two guitar books that I've written for their students.  Candace and I have also given group lessons for many years in Parker Colorado and our class was featured on Douglas County TV several times.  As of late 2011, I started teaching through Delta Vision Charter (Public) School where students can receive school credit, (grades 1-12), by taking lessons with me via Skype or in my Delta music studio.

 

I have played various concerts and clubs in the Denver metro area for over 38 years.    Candace McCoy and I team up to play guitar duets, and guitar and flute duets of music ranging from classical, flamenco, rock, celtic, and jazz.  We play in the Pea Green concert series, and we now perform at various venues on Colorado's Western Slope.  Also, starting around 1982, I have had various multi-track recording outfits along with MIDI sequencer work stations.  I currently use a Roland VS-2400CD 24 track recorder along with a Godin guitar synthesizer that I use for creating arrangements of strings, piano, and all the various instrumentation on my recording projects.  I also play bass, some piano, recorder, and percussion.

 


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