Coaching & Instruction

Trey does take clients for individual work in:

1. the practice of tapping/touch-style playing
2. the practice of ear training
3. the practice of rhythm work
4. Coaching in the practice of defining and developing one’s personal creative vision

Instruction is available in the Seattle area or online through Skype.

From Trey on coaching:

I have begun instructing and music coaching over the last few years. My Skype system is up and working quite well. With a decent internet connection and a web camera, being at a distance is no longer an obstacle . This is working far better than I would have ever anticipated.

Music Coaching is new and fascinating, and I am excited to be working with people in this way. Coaching is different from teaching, instructing, mentoring or consulting -- which all involve a high level of expertise and "secret knowledge" that gets passed from one person to another. In contrast, with coaching I stand side by side with other musicians/artists and help them define, clarify and reach their goals -- whatever those goals may be. We dig in, find where they truly want to go and make strategies to implement a pathway.

So far, most of the people working with me in this way are looking to find and hone their unique individual voices. Some are drummers, some guitarists or bassists, some are working purely in the realm of composition, others are painters, another plays the harmonica, another is a competitive coffee brewer... Basically, if something about this approaches strikes a chord for you, regardless of your field, it is probably worth looking closer at it.

The Creative Process can be a very challenging force to engage -- especially when part of the goal is to find our own personal vision, our own unique way of working. This means we are striving to go beyond the re-articulation of what we have experienced before -- going into an unknown world and bringing back artifacts. When we are looking to go where neither we, nor anyone, has gone before it can be useful to be in contact with others who are traveling along this, sometimes, precipitous path.

If you have an interest in this, please write to me as consisely as possible:

1. What currently excites you the most in your field of interest

2. Where you are interested in going

3. How you think I could help


email contact


Trey presenting a 30-minute talk on "Original Voice"


Further reflections on Coaching:

I recently received a very thoughtful email asking more specifics about how I define 'music coaching' as distinct from 'music instruction'. Here was my reply.


Basically, there is a kind of spectrum with Instruction on one end and Coaching on the other end. Six years ago, only two of my clients fell completely on the "coaching end". As of present all of them do, though a little instruction sneaks in from time to time.

I think I can explain it like this.

The instruction end of the spectrum is where one needs to work on facility and there may or may not be a burning drive to realize some clear vision. The coaching end is where there IS a very clear aim/vision but there is either uncertainty about how to realize it or the spiral of the process is putting blocks in the way. Sometimes my coaching role is to help organize the container for the workflow. Sometimes it is in the form of making suggestions about areas to pursue around the vision so that all the possibilities come forth. Sometimes what is needed is even as simple as filling the role of a cheering section from someone who has gone before. (I know that sounds almost silly, but it is far more valuable than one can imagine. And I don't cheer arbitrarily -- I cheer for what is successful and in line with the vision.)

This approach can work with any instrument, any type of music or any artform. This is because it is your vision.

As far as my own instrument goes -- tapped string instruments -- I don’t operate from a curriculum. Meaning, you don't come to me and I have a program that you can pass through and a certain thing comes out the other side. While I do have a very large body of techniques to develop facility on the instrument, the most important thing from my perspective is "Where does this person want to go?" Then I can adapt to what their particular needs and visions are. The reasons for this may be obvious, but I can state three prominent ones:

1. There are so many places a musician can go. Why waste your energy on paths that don't feed your personal vision?

2. I have no agenda for what anyone else should be playing/creating. It is far better for me to adapt as a coach to the person's vision than vice versa. I have a very strong vision about where I am going with music and it's craft and art form. But these are my visions. Telling you that you should go down this road instead of your own is idiotic and counter to number 3.

3. I believe that each one of us has our own personal musical/artistic DNA. Every one of us. The process that interests me is uncovering those unique particles. At the end of the day anything that supports this process is a plus. And anything that counters that line of discovery is a minus.

I hope this is helpful.

In short, can I help you play the Warr Guitar better? Yes. But how far we can go eventually depends on what your vision is. Playing an instrument well is no different than wielding a hammer. What you want to build is what should drive the process.