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BM, Indiana University, Piano Performance
MM, Texas Tech University, Piano Pedagogy
PhD, Texas Tech University, Piano Pedagogy
Indiana University - Honors College Scholarship Texas Tech University - 2009 - 2011 AT&T Chancellors Fellowship Texas Tech University - Graduate Assistantship in Music - Piano Texas Tech University 2013 - 2014 University Wide TEACH Fellowship
I've recently moved to the Bryan/College Station area to work at Texas A&M as part of their Center for Teaching Excellence. I also play piano at Covenant Presbyterian Church! I received my PhD in Fine Arts from Texas Tech in 2018, having studied there with Dr. William Westney, performing recitals, accompanying instrumentalists and vocalists, teaching group classes and private lessons, as well as serving as pianist at multiple churches. I bring lots of experience and excitement to lessons with students of all ages.
I've been teaching piano for over 10 years, teaching both privately and in group classes. I've taught students from 7 1/2 to 75. My passion for teaching has extended into my graduate studies, where I focused on piano pedagogy. In addition, I've spent the last 5 years working in a University Teaching Center, working with faculty members and graduate students on how to improve their classroom teaching! All of this thinking about teaching informs how I work with students, based on research and personal experience.
For beginning students who are children, I typically prefer the Faber Piano Adventure Series. Written by a couple who are educated both in music as well as child development, I believe that this is a great mix of developmentally appropriate pacing and fun. For adults, I try to focus on personal goals as well as music reading background, while I'm happy to recommend a method book (such as Alfred's great Adult Piano series). Beyond method books, I'm open to finding developmentally appropriate solo literature that interests the students. In short, if something they really love is (in my opinion) just a bit beyond their grasp, I'll do my best to find a piece that approximates the style/ideas while being just as fun/motivating.
I believe that making progress in an enjoyable way is what keeps people most motivated, and I do my best to make that happen. While students will find that their progress is influenced by their practice habits, it's also my goal to make clear what effective practice looks like, what kinds of questions they might ask to figure things out, and how to be patient with themselves. In short, my job as a teacher is to help students become more effective at figuring things out, while paying attention to their level of motivation/enjoyment. Managing the sweet spot of making progress and having fun is what drives me.
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