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Advanced Diploma from Sherando HS with a 3.8 GPA
University of North Texas Jazz Studies Program Over 10 years of private study on Drums, Percussion and Piano
2005- Jazz Studies scholarship from the University Of North Texas
2007-Commissioned to compose and produce original music for the computer game "Wriggle Words" for Big Fish Games Inc.
2008-Produced radio ads for Toby Arnold and Associates Sound Studios
2008-Present- Many national tours, performing with various groups
2013-Shared the stage with The Lumineers at The Verizon Wireless Center in Grand Prairie,TX and the Austin 360 Amphitheater
I grew up in Stephens City, VA, where I started playing drum set professionally at age 16. Piano, guitar, and songwriting came soon after, and in 2005 I was awarded the Jazz Studies Scholarship from the University of North Texas to study drum set with the world-renowned educator, Ed Soph. At North Texas, I participated in the 6 O'Clock Lab Band, Advanced AfroCuban Ensemble, Chamber Brass Band and Brazilian Ensemble, and soon after, was commissioned to compose original music for the computer game Wriggle Words.. In early 2008, I began touring nationally with a Denton-based band, and now tour nationally with several Austin-based groups. While not on the road, I play with numerous groups in Austin, write and record original music in my home studio, and teach.. I bring my extensive music industry experience into each lesson. While teaching my students their primary instruments, I also strive to make the lessons well-rounded, incorporating theory, ear training, music culture and history.
My work teaching drum set began at age 16 with a position at The Blue Ridge Studio for the Performing Arts in Berryville,VA as well as teaching out of my home. Once I moved to Denton to attend the University of North Texas, I began teaching piano,drum set and guitar for the companies Taylor Robinson Music based out of Dallas and Hall Music Productions in Southlake,TX. In 2011 I moved to Austin where I started teaching various in-home lessons for families.
For beginning drum set students, the program I recommend is starting with Drum Set Essentials by Peter Erskine. As skills in rudiments and basic patterns develop, I go on to materials such as Syncopation by Ted Reed (reading,coordination,technique), and Stick Control by George Lawrence Stone (technique). For piano, I go over basic theory,major and minor scales,chords and arpeggios and work in Piano For Adults by James Bastien. It is a great book for beginners of all ages, incorporating theory,technique and sight reading. It also includes some great classic repertoire. For guitar, I start beginners with basic chord and strumming patterns, as well as finger exercises geared towards developing the ability to play scales and simple melodies.
My teaching style is geared mainly towards going over fundamentals while finding the students interest in music. I encourage my students to listen to as much music as possible, to explore and find what they really enjoy. Playing along to music,or learning songs the student enjoys is a great way to apply the fundamentals, and make them more enjoyable to master.
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