Christian McGuire

Christian McGuire

Christian McGuire teaches private students in Electric Bass, Classical & 12-String Guitar, and Theory.  Since moving to the Twin Cities in 1993, Christian has been active as a session musician, historian, music educator, and Liberal Arts Education advocate. He holds a Master of Arts in Musicology from the University of Minnesota and B.A.’s in Philosophy and Classical Languages from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.   He has taught courses in Music History, Theory, World Music, and small group ensembles at Augsburg College and the McNally-Smith College of Music. Between 2004-2008 he served as Musicologist and study guide author for the Minnesota High School Music Listening Contest. He also serves as the Treasurer and Webhost for the International Society of Hildegard von Bingen Studies.

Christian is a lover of all music. He has has been engaged as an active musician has a wide range of experiences both on stage, in the studio, and in pit orchestras.  As a bassist / vocalist Christian has graced the stages of First Avenue, 7th Street, Fine Line, etc. one night, then performing at Orchestra Hall as a chorister with the Minnesota Chorale the next.  In addition to being an on-call session musician, he has served as the regular pit orchestra bassist with Ashland Productions in Maplewood since 2002. He is the bassist for Shoop! the Twin Cities based 11-piece Vocal jazz group; He also routinely performs as the only non-Health professional with the HCMC band, The New Prescriptions and stretches his theatrics as “Gene Simmons” for the 1974 KISS tribute band, KISSin Time.

Outside of music, Christian loves camping (during all four seasons) in the Minnesota State Parks. He is a Fencing Foil specialist and a practicing black belt in Mixed Martial Arts under Master Jake Erling from The Art Martial Arts in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. He lives in Como Park with his wife, two children, 2 cats and dog

ALL Music is Folk Music; the only difference is the folk…is my personal motto on music. What I mean by it is that all music is valid music to someone. It is tied to cultural and personal values. For instance, blues folk like blues music, opera folk like opera music, heavy metal folk like heavy metal music. To dismiss someone’s music as “not worthy” can be and is often construed as dismissing that person and that person’s cultural values. I find it better to seek and understand why someone likes the music they do. It helps keep the doors of global and generational communication open.

Private electric bass instruction, my primary concern is ensuring that students learn a sound ergonomic technique which reduces risk of injury. For this I have developed a method focused on the unique requirements of the electric bass with exercises designed to facilitate fingering while maintaining good posture. Rather than launching into “flashy technical riffs” my students learn early on the traditional musical leadership role of the bass — it provides the foundation of Harmony, Beat and Rhythm–it is the singular focal point upon which all musicians rely. In this sense the bassist is the conductor who is always aware of the music and will assert direction when things go awry.

In music improvisation, I expose students to diverse modes of improvisational traditions as practiced by many cultures around the world as well as the often neglected improvisational art from western Classical music.  Students are encouraged to adopt an attitude of fearlessness to experiment based upon what they have learned and discover their own voice.

In general I approach teaching Music as one of the traditional Seven Liberal Arts.  I help students overcome the peril of “functional fixedness” through active and peer learning strategies. Rather than focusing solely on the memorization of facts and terms, my students (whether in class, ensemble or private study) use their senses to experience music–applying those terms to their subjective tastes as well as objective critical analysis in order to arrive at a well-considered conclusion. Students also develop the necessary skill of collaboration by discussing their diversity of perspectives and providing mature constructive feedback.

$30/half hour | $45/45 min. | $60/60 min.


In order to ensure a mutually respectful program of lessons, the following must be observed by both teacher and student:

Lessons must be scheduled at least one week in advance. Regularly scheduled lessons (for example, every Monday at 5:30pm) should be scheduled all at once with teacher for the entire month.

Cancellations require at least 48-hour notice except in an emergency that directly impacts student’s or teacher’s ability to attend lesson (e.g., car accident, illness that prevents either student or teacher from playing safely, etc.).

Tuition for the month’s lessons must be paid at the first lesson of that month. If the student cancels the lesson, he or she must mail a check within 24 hours of that missed lesson. Bounced checks will incur an additional $35 penalty to cover bank fees.

Teacher will make every effort to be flexible in rescheduling a lesson student has missed; however, make-up sessions are not guaranteed. There is no refund for missed lessons.

If teacher must reschedule or cancel a lesson, student will not be financially penalized: In such case, the missed lesson will be rescheduled at no additional cost to student.

To ensure focus, student agrees to continue with piano studies with teacher for a period of eight weeks, at which point student can reassess if he or she would like to continue. Teacher reserves the right to modify this requirement if she feels student would be better served by another teacher.

Student agrees to come prepared to lessons, which includes bringing handouts/assignments from previous lessons to every lesson thereafter. To the best of his or her ability, student will have worked on assignments from the most recent lesson plan, which, in most cases, teacher will have emailed to student within 3 days after previous lesson.

Student understands that the effort put into lessons and between lessons directly impacts student’s success—you get out of lessons what you put into them.

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