Faculty Feature: Jason Mullen

Jason Mullen Guitar Lessons

Posted on February 05, 2016 by Alaina

Guitarist Jason Mullen joined our faculty as a Teaching Artist in Fall of 2015. In addition to teaching private lessons at Potomac Arts Academy, he is also pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Shenandoah Conservatory in the studio of Julian Gray. Enjoy this video of Jason performing and read on to learn more about him as a teacher and a musician:

PAA: How did you first fall in love with your instrument?
JM: I first fell in love with the guitar as child. I have a particularly vivid memory of my grade school music teacher using the guitar to accompany us in songs. I remember being completely enamored when she would stop the sound by placing her right hand over the vibrating strings. The sound seemed to magically disappear! I think now I can articulate it a bit better in saying, playing the guitar is an experience where you are in complete control of the creation of sound. There is no mechanism between you and the sound, you both generate and extinguish it with your hands directly on the strings. I still find this to be one of the most exciting and creative aspects of the instrument!
PAA: Tell us about a teaching experience you had that was especially memorable.
JM: Each individual student is unique. My goal is to equip students with skills that support their long-term musical goals no matter what their aspirations. I love it when students who I haven’t seen in years get in touch and tell me what they’ve been up to. Some of my students have gone on to music studies of their own, while others have continued to play simply for enjoyment. It’s such a great feeling to know that you’ve positively affected someone’s life through music and the instrument!
PAA: What are some unique things you do when you teach?
JM: I’ve learned so much through my students—It’s totally cliché to say, but that’s why it’s true! I like to have students create their own original musical exercises based around the concepts they’re learning. They have to teach me the exercises that they have created and explain exactly how the activity supports the outcome they desire. Not only does this help develop critical thinking skills, but it allows the student to take ownership in the improvement of their playing in a fun and creative way.
PAA: Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
JM: My wife Heidi, (who is a guitarist and musicologist) and I, have a six-month old son named Glenn and three-legged cat named Binks.
To register for or learn more about lessons with Jason Mullen, give us a call at (703) 993-9889 or email us at potomac@gmu.edu!
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