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BA, University of California at Berkeley
2006-2007 ACSI Honor Band Soloist
2008 Concord Blue Devils
2013 Press Democrat: "Best Band"
2015 Deli Magazine San Francisco: "Best Roots Band"
2016 The Bohemian Reader Voted: "Best Jazz Band"
I am a professional musician who has been gracing the stages, classrooms, and homes of the San Francisco Bay Are for almost 20 years. I absolutely love music and the benefits it can bring to our lives. Whether I am on a stage bringing joy and good times to an audience or sitting one on one with a student helping them understand a tough musical concept, I bring the same passion and knowledge to the table. For over a decade I have been teaching both private lessons to all skill levels and classes to all grade levels. On the weekend I can be found in venues all over California playing everything from jazz to hip hop. It would be my joy and honor to help you achieve your musical goals. I look forward to working with you in the future.
My musical career began at a very young age when my mother enrolled me in piano lessons with a retired music teacher down the road. I was 8 years old and every Thursday I would walk myself down the street to sit on a wooden bench in front of a very old piano. It was there that my love for music and for what it was to be a musician was first nurtured. A few years down the road I started playing trumpet in the beginning band at my school under the tutelage of who, to this very day, I believe was the best youth band director to ever hold a baton. Since then I have had many teachers who have shaped my life many different ways. They spent the time to grow and cultivate my skills and talent, teach me musician's etiquette, and give me “the tools of the trade”. It is my hope that I can give just a fraction of what those wonderful men and women gave to me, back to my students. My first experience teaching was in Marching band camp as a junior and senior in high school. As I became an veteran upperclassman, it became my job to teach the younger Freshmen and Sophomores how to march and play in the marching band. I absolutely loved passing on this knowledge and discovered I had a knack for speaking in public and an ability to clearly explain complicated ideas to my audience. After I graduated high school in 2007 I began teaching wind instruments in a friend's private music school as a way to earn money while in college. As I studied music in college and played in as many groups as possible, I became a more established musician and the number of student's who wanted to learn from me grew. In addition local schools began reaching out and invited me to teach clinics and classes to aid their band programs. Throughout the years I have gained more students, but have never stopped seeing myself as a student. I am constantly learning new ideas and ways to teach those ideas from musicians around me. I still seek out the expertise of musicians I look up to and pass that expertise on to my students. I also find that my students themselves have a lot to teach me. I absolutely love teaching music. I love hearing about a student's musical aspirations and then working with that student to create a plan to achieve those aspirations. And when those goals are met it is feeling I can hardly describe.
My teaching method is centered around the idea that a student's practice time should be both fun and efficient. I work closely with my students learn their musical interests and then establish their musical goals. With those goals in mind, we create a daily practice routine that is both fun, efficient and designed specifically for that student, with their strengths and weaknesses taken into account. The materials used in these practice routines are pulled from my own personal library of music books, all of which I have worked through and mastered. For my brass students I use exercises from the greatest brass instructors and players to have ever live: Gordon, Dr. Colins, Arban, and Clark. For wood wind students: Kevnitt, Rubank's, and Schlossberg For Piano Student: Hanon, Simon, and Alfred's Teaching Method AND MANY MORE!! In addition, my students work on solos and pieces of music of their choosing. Though I guide them and offer suggestions from the classical, jazz, pop canons, they ultimately choose the songs they work on. I find that students learn best when they are truly invested in what they are working on. We also spend time working on my student's school music and audition pieces if required.
The first lesson is always a trial lesson, in it I attempt to access where the student is musically. I also use the time to find out what the student's musical goals are . We look at things like reading, theory, dexterity on the instrument. If the student plays a wind instrument we look at things like embouchure and breathing. Once I have gotten a good idea as to the student's skill level and have spoken to the student about their musical goals and interests. We then set about drawing up a practice routine, specific to that student. The practice routine is a set of 3-5 exercises taken from my library music books that will each touch on an area or skill that the student needs to work on. The routine will end with a song or piece of music for the student to read and practice. The student will practice this routine daily and the following week the student and I will sit down and play through the routine together. For the exercises the student has mastered, I will assign the next exercise in the series or assign and go over a new exercise that strengthens whatever skill we are working on. If the student has not yet mastered the exercise we will go over it together. I will explain and discuss the technique and theory behind the exercise. I may make a recording for the student or write notes on the exercise for the student. The main goal will be to make sure the student is prepared to work on that exercise the following week. All throughout the lesson I will be taking notes for both myself and the student. At the end of the lesson, I will email the updated practice routine along with the notes from that week's lesson to the student.
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