Lead Guitar Instructor Spotlight: Audrey Oden

Audrey Oden is one of our Lead Guitar Instructor in Denver, CO. She joined Lead Guitar in 2020.

Where did you go to college and describe your guitar education experience during that time?

For my undergraduate degree, I went to Oklahoma City University. At OCU, I got to study with multiple guitar teachers and I studied lute. For my graduate degree, I went to the University of Denver, and there I got experience in chamber performance and Alexander Technique.

Tell us a little about your family your childhood, and/or where you grew up?

I grew up in Oklahoma City with my mom and my younger brother Carson. My mom used to be a hairdresser, but now she works in real estate. My brother just graduated from the fire academy and is about to become a firefighter.

List any awards/recognitions you received.

2nd place EMF 2017

How did you get started with Lead Guitar?

This will be my first year with Lead Guitar. I heard from my teacher at DU that they were hiring teachers in Denver and I was excited to apply because I’m familiar with their programs and some teachers.

Did you have music in school as a child? what got you started as a musician?

The first instrument I started on was actually cello in 5th grade. I started at a magnet school in 6th grade and took guitar classes and switched to being a guitar major in 9th grade.

What music did/your family listen to?

My mom likes a bunch of different music but mostly listens to classic rock. My dad pretty much exclusively listens to country music. My brother listens to whatever is popular on TikTok. 

What inspired you to become a music teacher?

My own teachers have inspired me to become a teacher. And not necessarily just guitar teachers, but teachers throughout my education. I love learning and my goal is to pass my knowledge onto others. 

What is your experience in teaching in a classroom setting/were there guitar classes during your primary or secondary education?

I took guitar classes from 6th-12th grade and I was a guitar major during high school. 

Describe a memorable event(s) you and with past students/teachers?

My experience taking Alexander technique was very memorable. It completely changed my view of how I use my body, not just while playing guitar, but in everyday life. 

What are your current goals?

My current goal is to focus on my performance as a solo artist. I’m pushing myself to learn more complex music and become a better musician.

What’s your message to students trying to make their way through the obstacles in this new living and learning environment?

Focus on your mental health. There is no need to push yourself really hard during these times. There are a lot of expectations to be productive during this time, but the most important thing is finding some happiness. 

Who is someone that inspires you and why?

My mom inspires me because she raised two kids as a single mother while still cultivating her career and her passion.

Who are your favorite musicians/guitarists?

The late Julian Bream was such an inspiration to me. He brought so much amazing repertoire to the world of guitar.

How has Music/Lead Guitar helped you thus far?

I think overall music has given me a lot of confidence in my everyday life. I used to be shy and hard on myself, but now that I’ve progressed as a performer, I think I am a more confident person. 

What’s the one thing you wish you could give every student after a lesson?

I hope that after a lesson I’ve made something easier for a student. Whether it's how you think about using your body, technique, or the music itself. 

Any teaching philosophies you go by?

I have had teachers that use the negative reinforcement approach to teaching, and I really don’t agree with that. I think it is important to be kind and understanding, everyone has a life and their own personal struggles outside of school.

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