Music & Mental Health




With 14.8 million people being diagnosed with depression, it's no wonder it is the second largest disease. Hays and Minichiello found that folks who participated in playing music reported improved self-esteem, greater independence, and fewer feelings of isolation. In addition, playing music created a temporary escape from the stress of daily life.

Let's get you playing guitar and fight your depression.



The brain works on a principle of “use it or lose it.” Therefore, exercising the brain is important, and musical training may fill that need. Learning a skill such as playing an instrument reorganizes the brain’s neural pathways. Brain plasticity is the ability of the brain to change its structure. In essence, playing the guitar can change your brain pathways.
Musical training is also associated with improved visual memory and the ability to divide the individual’s attention between several activities. This ability is crucial for activities such as driving and is useful for navigating crowded areas, such as a mall.


I have fought and nearly beaten anxiety and bipolar. Through all my highs and lows, there have been few constants in my life. Music has been a constant and my guitar and writing music has helped me get through many tough days, weeks, months and even years.

I run a non-profit called C50 Ministries. We help people with mental illness. Check us out and know that you are getting a teacher that has benefited immensely from music and playing the guitar.


Man Playing Guitar
Semi Hollow Electric Guitar

I can teach you the notes on the guitar. We could start there, but we are going to start with just a few notes and mostly chords.


I want you to start playing contemporary music ASAP. I don't teach classical. I have never enjoyed classical. I enjoy chord progressions. 


If you look to your right, you will see a "Blues & Improvisation" paragraph. As you develop as a student and your chords, you will start to learn chord progressions and eventually scales. However, we're going to go at your pace and satisfy that curiosity you have of jamming on the guitar with your basic chords. 


Learn your chords, learn what chords go well together. Let's start out making this fun and jump immediately into the exciting world of guitar. 

I first started playing songs in my church. Of course they were songs but it didn't have that same appeal as learning and playing that song that goes through your head.  


You know, when you go to a campfire and can play a few songs people can sing with. Man! That is a great feeling. 


Geezz, even at Christmas, playing carols is awesome. 


We will get you from your fingers hurting to pushing through those tough chords to be able to play some of those songs you love.


Start a cover band or play in your church. Either way, we can get there together. I know the feeling of playing a song and I want you to experience it too. 


Let's do this!

There are two ways I believe the guitar can stay active in your life for years to come. First, keep learning new things. As you progress, keep pushing yourself.
Second, learn improvisation. A simple 12bar blues blues progression and a 5 position, moveable scale will keep you busy for a long time. 

Masters of the guitar have been playing the 12bar blues and some same scales for years...They are just VERY creative which is what makes them special.

We can learn the progressions, scales and I can lead you through some lead playing. 

Honestly, it feels great to put on a backing track and play lead over some chords.





I was in Jr. High when I was in a band and we wrote our own music. We covered some Weezer and other alternative bands but we wrote our own stuff. We felt like we made it...that we have arrived simply by playing our own music at shows.

In High School, I was getting decent at the guitar and played lead with a band. We covered some songs but wrote a few as well. Again, This felt great.

In college a few of us got together and started writing our own music. I wrote the basics of all the songs but when our singer quit, I took over vocals too. Writing, playing lead and singing in a band changed my life. We had some success but were never rock stars, but we have a few albums under our belt and countless shows where we got to play the songs that we wrote. Being a song writer is one of the most amazing things in my life. I want you to experience it. 

Most people think you have to become proficient at the guitar before you venture into the world of writing music. That is simply not the case. Some of the best songs in the world were written with 3 chords. Many songs take on the same progression as other songs and after you learn one, you can play many more. All I'm saying is that you're not far from writing your own music.

Lyrics & words are such a fun way to express yourself. We will either take lyrics and write music or take a melody and write lyrics. I can teach you how to go from simple rhyming of words and turn your expression into a craft that is unique to you. 

With all the recording options, you can write a whole album. It takes $20 a year to get on Spotify and other streaming services...a couple of pictures for a profile and you have a solid way to sell music and to book shows. 

You're closer than you think...



I love the Lord. The Lord desires our worship. That's life worship. He deserves our praise. I love praise and worship. 

Worship leading is where I honed my skills and I was able to lead and use my talents for the Lord. 

I want to teach what I know so that you can be used by the Lord to lead in your church. Maybe it's a youth band or you desire to play in the main service. Let's get you to the place where you can play, play in the band and eventually lead. It's a calling and a craft. If you have the calling, I can help with the craft. 




To the right of this paragraph, you should see a few of the songs that I have written. These were done as demos. They are not perfect or complete. In fact, I used drum loops. 

I love writing music and challenging myself to write different styles. I will sit down and try and write something that sounds like a country song. I will record it, sing on the tracks and then move on to another genre. 

I would love for you to check out some of my work. The greatest thing I can think of is to work with fellow song writers, young and old alike and let you create your own songs. 

Writing is a great journey that is just incredible. Let's give it a shot



These songs were written primarily by myself and of course the other guys in our band. Downing Street, made all of my thoughts a reality with their amazing gifts and powerful creativity. This project would have never happened without Joe, Jon, Jon and Seth.

This is my default music style. Punk Rock. However, I'm a dad now and don't play music with anyone. This is from a different time when I was full of youth.

Check it out if you want. These were good days!




I use Zoom to teach all of my classes. This allows me to teach anytime, and with students from anywhere. There is great flexibility with Zoom. 

The best would be to go 1-1 in a small room but we can accomplish so much over Zoom. There is a white board feature to draw and with e-mail, I can send you everything you need. 

Simply have a good connection and download Zoom. Soon we'll be 1-1. From Pittsburgh to the screen in front of you. 

It really works. 


C50 is a non-profit. No one is rich or is getting rich or even has the desire to get rich here. We are in this to help people. 

I firmly believe music can impact an individual and their mental health. 

So why does it cost? $25 for a half hour of lessons can impact your mental health and the proceeds go back into C50 to make all this possible. All the podcasts, hosting, time, resources, materials etc. 

This is a small way we can help and generate a very small income for the ministry to move forward.