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Bachelor Degree: Temple University
2018 - Temple University Presser Award (for outstanding academic achievement)
Dean's List (all four years)
I'm a recent Temple University grad who's excited to work with students of all ages and levels of experience. I've played piano since I started Suzuki lessons at four years old, and I have experience playing many different styles of music; I studied classical music as a child, but as I got older I began writing my own music, and accompanying choirs and theater performances of various kinds. Eventually I became interested in playing jazz, which brings us to today (my degree is a BM in Jazz Studies, piano performance concentration). At Temple had the opportunity to play with many great bands in clubs and other venues around Philadelphia while studying with some of the best jazz musicians on the scene today. Ultimately, however, I love all kinds of music, and I still practice classical music every day. More than anything, I hope to inspire a similar love of music in my students.
I began teaching privately toward the end of high school; since then I have taught various students with various interests and levels of experience. I have found teaching older and younger students to be equally rewarding (in slightly different ways). My favorite part of teaching is inspiring a passion for and interest in music. I don't force my own stylistic preferences on students--the sorts of repertoire we work on is largely up to them. If a student leaves a lesson feeling excited to start practicing and listening to music, then I've done my job!
My methods of course depend on the experience level of the student I'm teaching. For beginners, I typically have them work through the first Suzuki book and then go from there based on what it seems they're interested in. Beyond that, specific repertoire is going to be different for each student. I believe strongly in the importance of learning to read music and learning the basics of music theory as soon as possible in a student's development, so I spend some lesson time on that. Learning to play by ear is, I think, another important element in a student's success; I like to make sure every student can hum their songs as well as play them! Finally, it is extremely important to me that my students play in a healthy, relaxed way. As someone who suffered a repetitive strain injury from practicing a lot, I can personally attest to the importance of playing without unnecessary tension.
There is nothing worse than a teacher who makes otherwise exciting material sound boring and dry. I try my best to make lessons a fun and exciting learning experience, especially for young students. Turning the difficult process of learning to read music into a game, for example, makes it much more palatable to a seven year old! Ultimately, however, I have to adjust my teaching style to each individual student. Some students learn more from verbal instruction, some learn more from demonstration, and so on.
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