Mark Caldwell - Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Ukulele
Mark Caldwell is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and one of our highly recommended music teachers. He grew up loving music and started playing the violin and drums early on, adding guitar and mandolin in high school. About seven years ago (DFC founder) Harry Tuft, who owned the store at the time, “needed a banjo teacher and asked would I want to teach. I said sure and that’s how I got into banjo. I teach three-finger style (Scruggs style) and clawhammer/frailing.”
He began teaching guitar in 1995 at Swallow Hill Music, where he taught for about ten years. A few years later he began teaching at the Denver Folklore Center (where he worked). That lasted until about five years ago when the store no longer had available space. He then rented a space at Cameron United Methodist Church (where he currently teaches).
Mark teaches guitar (acoustic and electric), banjo, ukulele and mandolin both in-person and online. “I’ll teach just about any style - bluegrass, reggae, blues, jazz, folk, pop, rock, whatever people are into. And I listen to everything from African music to European classical. I like it all.”
There are many aspects of teaching Mark enjoys. “I like the communication, the intimate setting where you’re talking about music and explaining musical ideas and how music works. I really enjoy watching people grow and achieve their goals. I think people get a lot of enjoyment out of music - it feeds the soul. I feel like I’m a facilitator for that by teaching.” Mark believes there are those “who can learn from books and YouTube, but the predominance of people benefit greatly from taking lessons with someone that can answer questions. They have someone guiding them through the things they need to do to advance. I think with in-person lessons, you’re not practicing something incorrectly and having to break those habits. If you’re seeing someone once a week they can keep you in line with what you need to do and give you a shortcut to learning.”
Not only does Mark teach, he also performs (when there’s not a pandemic). He plays in a few groups – one that performs reggae, African and Caribbean music called The Healing Force. Another group does jazz and pop-type music called Body and Soul. And he freelances, playing with other folks. “There are a lot of years (of experience) playing and teaching that go into my teaching. Also, I recommend everyone go to the Denver Folklore Center for all their needs, because it’s a great store.” Want to learn more about Mark’s music lessons? Contact him at 720-934-3864 or firstname.lastname@example.org.