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Bachelor Degree: Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts, Master Degree: New England Conservatory of Music, Graduate Degree: New England Conservatory of Music
2020 NEC Spark Award for Musical Storytelling
2019 NEC John Cage Award for Performance of Contemporary Music
2016 Tennessee Cello Workshop Solo Competition, Grand Prize Winner
2016 ASTA National Solo Competition, 2nd Place Cello Division
2015 Society for Electro-Acoustic Music United States (SEAMUS) Conference Featured Artist
I am a cellist and recent graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from Virginia Tech, where I developed passions for chamber and contemporary classical music. I brought these interest to Boston, and have performed throughout New England in chamber music series, conductorless ensembles, and orchestras. While studying at NEC, I was also a musical storytelling fellow, and developed multiple programs of original songs and stories to perform at elementary schools and children's venues throughout the city. I currently still live in Boston performing musical storytelling and teaching virtually and recently received a 2020 NEC Spark Award to further my storytelling work.
I've been teaching the cello and music to individuals and ensembles for ten years. During my undergraduate degree, I taught with the Virginia Tech String Project. From conducting, coaching sectionals, and helping students with technique during rehearsals, I gained many of the teaching methods and practices I keep today. I also co-taught string ensembles at the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute. In these camps, teachers and students together had a week to program, practice, and perform a concert. In spite of the short amount of time together, I felt it was crucial to inspire as much artistry and musicianship as possible so that students left their experience with more than just learned notes. I currently work as an ensemble coach with the New England Conservatory Preparatory School and teach privately around the Boston area. When working with any student, I aim to bring out the interests that make them want to play the cello. I encourage my students to tell me about the music and recordings they find interesting. Ear training and transcribing are significant factors in my teaching as well, as I believe they help make a clear pipeline between our ears and our hands.
With beginning students, I use exercises from Suzuki and Essential Elements books as a basis for note reading, but I also frequently use "echo" or "call-and-response" playing. I find this is especially important in developing a student's ear for pitch and tone early on. As a student progresses and their musical interests develop, I combine standard classical repertoire that I grew up playing with song transcriptions of film, jazz, and rock music formatted to match each student's ability level and current technical goals.
I believe a major key to success in learning music is finding the methods and concepts that click for you. There are infinite ways to think of a phrase or harmonic relationships and I work to learn which connections make sense to you. One major takeaway from my own education has been how to listen to my playing objectively and free of self-judgement. I constantly encourage my students to develop a similar mindset, since I see self-encouragement as much more important than encouragement from a teacher or an audience. I also love when a student comes into a lesson telling me about a recording they listened to or with an idea that sparked their curiosity. My learning what makes you curious helps me assign pieces and exercises that will best serve your growth.
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