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Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz Studies, Michigan State University
2011 Louis Armstrong Jazz Award for Leadership and Creativity
I am an energetic and passionate educator who enjoys teaching all kinds of music to students of all skill and age levels. A graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Jazz Studies, I've been professionally performing and recording music of many different genres such as jazz, rock, blues, rnb, pop, folk, swing, and country for over ten years. Performing all over the state of Michigan, the Portland Oregon metropolitan area, along the west coast, and now the New York metropolitan area has been an incredibly enriching experience that has shaped my principals and values, personally and musically.
I started teaching 7 years ago at the beginning of my college career and I have been teaching consistently ever since! I've had students from ages 4 to 60+ and taught individually, group lessons, and group classes. I began taking weekly private lessons while in elementary school and have had all kinds of teachers throughout my career as a musician; I truly value the music student to teacher relationship and kinds of lessons one experiences when studying music whether it's life lessons such perseverance, determination, patience, and acceptance or purely musical.
I base my students' curriculum on their individual needs and interests. I strongly believe in learning fundamentals and the principals of music through scales, music theory, ear training, and reading music notation. I believe it is equally important for students to develop their own musical interests and goals so that we can apply all of the practiced skills in a fun and meaningful way. An example of this would is if a student wanted to learn a Beatles song I would have the student learn the chords and melody, but also the associated major/minor scale that song uses and develop an exercise that would be helpful towards learning the song.
My teaching style is patient, thorough, and persistent. For beginning students I start with a simple five note scale, how to hold or sit with the instrument, and an easy tune such as mary had a little lamb or happy birthday; Some students get that in the first lesson and some take a couple weeks everyone has their own process. I like to students to work with method or etude books and have a folder or music notation notebook to keep notes and lessons, organization is up to the student. Once a work flow is established lessons consist students' choice in song/repertoire and a challenging technical or fundamental exercise.
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