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Cleveland State University, Post-Baccalaureate in Music Education, August 2017-Present The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, BM in horn performance, August 2007- May 2011
Students who are just beginning their instruments, no matter what point in life, are my favorite group to work with. I enjoy making sure students of all ages can begin their instrumental adventure with a solid foundation and the right knowledge to inspire self-efficiency. I have performed the French Horn in orchestras in New York, Ohio, Mississippi, Alabama, and Germany, but teaching is still where I find the most satisfaction and reward. I graduated from the Crane School of music in 2011, and have been teaching new musicians ever since.
I began teaching in Mississippi in 2011 to college students at the University of Southern Mississippi. After moving to Cincinnati, I began teaching preschool music. I began developing a preschool curriculum at the University of Cincinnati's Preparatory Program that combined reading, dancing, singing and imagining. After teaching privately for a year, I began my position as Executive Director of the Cincinnati Outreach (COR) Music Project. Our mission was to put music programs in schools that couldn't afford them on their own, particularly in urban areas around Walnut Hills. After finishing with the non-profit, I decided to move to Cleveland to update my teaching license at Cleveland State University. I am now the band director at Ruffing Montessori in Cleveland Heights. I believe in the importance of a strong foundation to ensure a lifelong pursuit of music.
For beginning students, I combine multiple elements to understand the various aspects of their new instruments. With a combination of videos for inspiration, singing for audiation, and moving for connection to the instrument and how our muscles respond to it. My lessons rarely consist of sitting for the entire time. I believe that in the short time we have in lessons, it is more important to expose students to a variety of resources to investigate their new endeavor than it is to repeat repertoire for the sake of a quick result. Taking time in the beginning stages to make sure students have a well rounded and fully informed understanding ensures less time is wasted later fixing mistakes that could have been easily avoided.
I have a very energetic and adaptable teaching style. Having worked with students from 3 years old to in their 30's, I can mold lessons to fit any type of attention span. I have also worked with students with special education needs and physical issues, so I can also work with parents to find ways for any student, regardless of their situation, to enjoy a life of music. I will always use positive encouragement, and pressure will never be put on students for results in a certain amount of time. I do not believe in rushing the beginnings of a musical education, it is critical that we take the time to establish a strong foundation of knowledge for a supported musical experience.
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