I have been teaching students for many years and love the challenge of developing new students into musicians that can be proud of their art. I graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in Music Industry. While attending EKU I studied percussion under Dr. Jason Koontz and was involved in numerous ensembles including the Percussion Ensemble, the Steel Band Ensemble, the African Drum and Dance Ensemble, the Marching Band, and more. After graduating I worked my way toward a Master's degree in Education. I began teaching at the high school level in 2017 and currently teach piano, guitar, and percussion. I am currently the assistant director of my school's marching band and the head director of the drama department.
I began teaching percussion immediately after high school. While attending EKU, I helped my former high school by teaching the percussion section during the marching band season. I taught the section every year for about 12 years before being hired as a full-time teacher and becoming the assistant director of the band. I still mainly focus on the percussion section every year, but my responsibilities have spread to assisting with other sections of the band as well. I like to develop close bonds with my students. I believe that the personal lives of students can affect the way the learn, practice, and perform. Knowing more information about my students helps me to relate content to their life and personalize music lessons. The more personal the music is to the student, the more likely they are to retain information and continue to practice.
My method of teaching is very detailed instruction. There are many books that tend to start with the assumption that you know something about music or that music is easy to just "pick up." I like to start from the students' most basic skill level and fill in all the gaps as they progress. This means that starting out might be a bit slow, but the learning curve for future lessons is shortened and students eventually end up further ahead than if they skipped around. Once all the basics have been covered, I start to gear lessons toward a specific goal or style that the student enjoys. The ultimate goal is to get the student performing pieces for personal enjoyment, for stress-relief, for recital, and/or for competition.
My teaching style includes using multisensory techniques that get the students reading music, listening to music, playing music, and more. I have discovered over many years of teaching that there are many different styles of learning different concepts. What may click for a student in one part of a lesson visually may not click aurally. Twenty minutes later, they may need the lesson explained differently. As a high school teacher, I must be prepared to deliver information in multiple ways multiple times a day. Though I have strongly sharpened my skills and can adapt to almost any learning style, I continue to research and experiment and find different ways to adapt to my students. My love for music and my desire to see students succeed creates an infinite amount of patience and understanding within the context of our lessons. I can empathize with enjoyment for learning as well as frustration in failure. This enables me to share the solutions that I've found to the mistakes I've made over the years with my students so that they develop good habits from the beginning.