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Virginia Commonwealth University Music Scholarship
New York University Academic Scholarship
VCU Principal Violist
Musical Works performed in various countries
Member of Manassas Symphony Orchestra
I have been composing, producing, and teaching music for a 22 years. I began studying piano formally when I was at the young age of five years old. My violin and viola interest started in fifth grade with the Virginia Beach Public School System. During my high school years I have studied privately under the tutelage of Mr. Xian Lin of the Virginia Symphony. My experience in the Norfolk Governor’s School of the Arts was a great honor and helped me excel as a performer. In my later years I began my undergraduate composition career at Virginia Commonwealth University studying under the wing of the late Dr. Dika Newlin, who is a direct pupil of the famous contemporary composer, Arnold Schoenberg. My piano teachers throughout my life have been Ms. Hermie Serna (Serna Music), Ms. Laura Soles (Governor’s School), Ms. Jeanette Windsor (Governor’s School), Mr. Russell Wilson (Richmond Symphony) and Mr. Landon Biyleau (Virginia Commonwealth -University). My violin and viola instructors/coaches during my undergraduate career were Dr. Robert Murray and Honggang Li (Shanghai Quartet). I attended graduate school at New York University studying with Dr. Justin Dello Joio, Dr. Dinu Ghezzo, and Dr. Deniz Hughes to broaden my skills in film music composition. Though formally a student of classical music composition, I also specialize in popular songwriting and in the music production of nearly all genres. With no prior songwriting experience, I have received a handful of awards and recognition from songwriting competitions nationwide. Growing up as a child I have received honors as a young pianist, held principal viola positions from high school and throughout college, and have gained recognition as a music producer both locally and nationally.
My students have honors in Northern Virginia Public School orchestras, the Prince William Youth Symphony Orchestra, Loudoun County Regional Orchestras, various chamber orchestras, and have gained the pure enjoyment of music! In the past, I have taught in the Loudoun County Public Schools system as a string orchestra teacher, was a member of the Manassas Symphony Orchestra and various chamber music groups, multimedia composer/ producer under NonStop Access Management, and teaching privately (piano, violin, viola, composition, songwriting) in the Northern Virginia area for 15 years; music will always be a branch of art that will never escape me. I also currently host a music composition and technology camp every Summer for select students.
With my background in childhood development, I understand that each child is unique. Not all students can be taught similarly, and I identify that early on. PIANO STUDENTS - typically I begin with the Alfred Series of method and eventually segue into early Bach music. Then, I reassess the student's goals and go into pop performance, jazz, music composition or more advanced classical performance. STRING STUDENTS - students start with the Essential Elements books. Halfway into the book we begin the Suzuki String books. Each song has a specific musical idea to teach and I emphasize this in lessons. MUSIC COMPOSITION - after students have completed the Level 2 Alfred series, and have mastered all the Major scales; I open the door to students to study music composition. We study and analyze all types of musical styles and write in these styles.
I utilize a Socratic style of teaching and have students learn through mistakes and self problem solving. All students have different learning abilities, and I listen to their needs and wants. There must be a learning triangle that involved the student, parent(s) and the teacher. If any parts of the communicative triangle are compromised, learning will be difficult. During lessons, I expect students to set up their instruments and materials on their own. Students begin warming up through their piano technic books, scales, or even arpeggios. We talk about the music they have been practicing and do a lot of analysis. We do NOT practice in our lessons, but I do teach students how to practice effectively.
I would like to start with a BIG thank you note to Mr Allan, Mr Allan has been coaching my daughter for almost 8 months and she really enjoys her classes and can see the growth in her piano skills. She has been with MAVA and learning piano for almost 3 yrs ,but due to her previous teacher relocation, she has to transition to Allan, as we were initially concerned about the transition but with Mr Allan, she really enjoys her class even more and could see the dedication to practice everyday. As a parent I really like Mr Allan’s teaching style, discipline and the level of focus and attention to his students, this style automatically reflects on his students including my daughter where I can see the discipline to practice everyday and do good. Thank you Mr Allan for your teachings and bringing joy to our family, we are lucky to have you as our daughter’s teacher and looking forward to more collaboration.
Mr. Alan is an amazing teacher and sets very high standards for my son who is learning piano for over a year. Mr. Alan is very methodical and patient with the kids. My son has shown tremendous progress in learning simple and complicated pieces of music. The recitals have brought out a lot of confidence in the kids. Needless to say, Mr. Alan is extremely talented with deep and thorough knowledge in music. We enjoy his lessons every week!
My son is learning violin from Mr Alan for the last four and half years. I was referred to Alan by two other music teachers when I moved into this area. Mr Alan spends enough time to teach the fundamentals of music, and perfects his posture everytime he finds it wrong. He is thorough in his teaching and is very pationate about it. He provides a lot of opportunity for my son to play solo and to play as a group via recitals every other month.. I see confidence built in my son. He picks up the violin now to try different music composition. Thanks to Mr Alan. He provides Master classes ,and these classes are unique. He cares for his students.
Mr Alan is a multi-talented music teacher, he is outstanding on what he does, he knows how to work with the kids, how to motivate them and get the best out of them. My son is learning Violine with him for a year and he has come a long way. Sometimes kids get distracted and lose motivation but Mr Alan always strives to keep their spirits high and keep them motivated. He arranges for plenty of recitals and encourages kids to participate in other events to explore and learn from other students. Overall we are very happy with Mr Alan and we would strongly recommend him to anyone.
My son is learning piano from Mr.Alan for past 1 year. Alan is excellent teacher.He has detailed music knowledge.Alan spends enough time for young musicians to make them learn and understand the foundational aspects of the music. During classes, he asks frequent questions to check their knowledge & train them as needed. Under his guidance, my son has developed his music skill very well. He also introduced group piano classes for young musicians which is really very helpful. He also arranges recitals so the kids develop their confidence level when they play in stage.
My son has been learning violin from Mr. Alan for over two years now. I have seen my son grow not only as a musician but also as a student. Alan has spent time to teach him qualities that go above and beyond music and help him shape into a better human being. He has taught him to not be scared of failures. He has been tough on him when he has been lazy and taught him the importance of hard work. Alan has engaged young students through technology and games as well. We have enjoyed both in person classes as well as online classes. We tried online classes with Alan in 2018 for the first time while we travelled overseas during summer and we wanted to continue the classes for continuity. The online experience has been as effective as in person classes.
My son has been studying Violin under the instruction of Mr. Alan A. for the past four and a half years. Alan follows the Suzuki method, and his approach stresses the fundamentals required for mastering both the kinematics of the instrument as well as music theory. He makes effective use of tools such as Tenuto, Violin Racer, and Garage Band to develop both sight-reading and music composition skills. Alan also considers performance to be an equally important part of the development process for young musicians, and offers frequent recital and masterclass opportunities to foster both confidence and team building skills though individual and ensemble performances. As a result of his instruction, my son now in the fourth grade, has both an understanding of music and performs with his violin at a level that would be typical for middle to high-school age students. While on-line lessons have been more the exception than the rule over the years, it has recently become the new normal - and Alan is proving to be just as effective an instructor via FaceTime and Google Hangouts as he is in person.
An amazing teacher. Very deep knowledge about Music Composition and taught me very well how to use the app Garage Band and the website Note Flight.
I would like to write about Alan. My son is learning piano from him from past 4 years. My son is not a East kid to work with. Even though he is very enthusiastic to play new songs he does not pay attention to details. Alan has the patience to try to make him understand the importance of practice and perfection. We are very thankful to his methods of teaching. He understands the needs of the kids and tailors the instruction along those lines. I am very happy that we found him as a teacher and will be continuing with him as long as my son wants to play piano.
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