Tommy-1st-CareerMy first career, weight lifting, didn’t work out. My muscles didn’t grow much. I decided I needed something that didn’t require heavy lifting.

I picked up my first guitar when I was 14 years old, I learned a few open chords, a few bar chords and some licks from popular songs. I could play some bits and pieces but never really got anywhere.

I began getting really frustrated because even though I learned many things from different places, no matter what I did I couldn’t turn that into playing the way I really wanted to play, to jam with other people, to feel confident, to experience the ease that I saw with the people that I admired and how I imagined it could be.

Then as a young adult I stumbled across a cassette course on achieving goals. I won’t go into too much detail, but the main idea was to achieve large, even what might seem like impossible goals by breaking them down to smaller steps. It was at a time when I was taking martial arts and I realized that the people that were successful just followed the system.

I took this insight and ran with it. First I researched how other guitarist learned. I read books, contacted private teachers and translated what I learned from them into a step by step program to improve my guitar playing over a period of 2 years.

Somewhat To My Surprise It Really Worked

Of course I made refinements as I went along. I tried some things that didn’t work, I added new material as more information came to me and “fell of the horse” a few times. There were times I felt discouraged and didn’t practice as much as I wanted to.

But at the end of the 2 year period my guitar playing improved tremendously. In fact I had made more progress in that 2 year period than I made in the previous 10 years.

Then one day my oldest daughter asked me to teach her guitar. I decided to use the system I had developed to teach her. To my surprise it worked even better with her. I begin using the system throughout my music school and developed a teacher training system to have all my guitar teachers use it.

I’ve always hired good instructors, but I began to get feedback that the students were learning faster and enjoying the process more when they used my system. I’ve named it the “Starland Guitar System”.

Starland currently has 612 students aging from age 4 to 84. About 4 years ago I began using my experience to reach people beyond my geographic location by developing lessons on the internet. My first videos weren’t visually great. My staff says they looked like “ransom” videos made in someone’s basement. I’m sure you’ll agree I’ve come a long ways.

Tomas the Recording Artist

In addition to teaching and developing educational programs I am the author of 7 CDs of my own original contemporary instrumental music. You can find me on Amazon, iTunes, Pandora CD Baby, and here.  You can find Tomas on