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I am an instructor who strives to help students reach their fullest potential as a musician both from a technical perspective and from an understanding of music concepts and theory in general. Maintaining productivity is a big focus but I promote a relaxed atmosphere in lessons at the same time. I identify a student's goals and what makes them unique (passions, motivational factors, personality traits, etc.) and use those as building blocks to achieving great things. I have been a musician for 17 years with my main instrument being saxophone but I have experience in guitar, bass, piano and singing as well. I co-studied music education/music performance in college for three years while obtaining two psychology degrees. I regularly compose music as well as perform with the State Line Saxophone Ensemble based out of Martin, TN on alto saxophone and the Trailblazer Band based out of Huntingdon, TN on alto sax and electric guitar. I was formerly a guitarist in multiple alternative rock, punk rock and hard rock bands as well as the principal saxophonist in college jazz bands, wind ensembles, pit orchestras and marching bands.
I gained an interest in teaching saxophone when I started taking private lessons 15 years ago from a local musician/music educator. I further developed this interest when studying under both of my private college instructors. Over the years I have taken different lessons and pieces of knowledge from all of the musicians, instructors, conductors and composers I have worked and collaborated with to form my own style of teaching that is a blend of all those I learned from yet uniquely my own. I have been a guest summer instructor at area high schools for the last 3 years and from that experience I have learned how to adapt to and motivate a vast array of personality types.
On any instrument at any level I focus greatly on building solid fundamentals, consistency and versatility. For saxophone, which is my area of greatest expertise, I use Hal Leonard Essential Elements and Charles West's Woodwind Methods for beginning level students. When they reach the point of learning scales I use the Boosey & Hawkes Saxophone Scale Book (Scales and Arpeggios). For tone development I use Top-Tones for the Saxophone (Four-Octave Range) (Third Edition) by Sigurd Rascher. For intermediate repertoire I use Rubank's Selected Studies and Rubank's Advanced Method as well as any material a student may be preparing for local, regional and state competitions. For an advanced student I use 48 Etudes by Ferling and introduce standard solo literature based on the student's needs and capabilities.
For guitar I teach beginner and intermediate levels using A Modern Method For Guitar Volume 1 by Berklee Press in addition to any scale book a student wishes to use. For guitar and bass I teach reading of sheet music as well as tabs. For bass guitar I teach beginner and intermediate using Hal Leonard's Bass Method Complete Edition and Mel Bay's Electric Bass Method Volume 1 and 2. I use additional materials based on the student's particular long term goals. I teach beginner level piano using Keyboard Musicianship Piano for Adults (10th Edt.) by Stipes Publishing Company and for beginner voice I use Progressive Sight Singing by Carol Krueger as well as an array of online resources.
My main approach to music teaching is the setting of short term and long term goals and creating a plan towards achieving those goals. Both short term and long term goals are realistic, yet also challenging. I believe that all goals should push a student and require hard work but never be out of touch with what the student is capable of. Everything from a goal setting and planning standpoint is tailormade to each student to make best use of what time and resources a student has. All lessons are aimed to be highly productive but also feel relaxed and never intimidating. Students should never feel uncomfortable and I am always pleased to hear any questions a student has. I also make use of applications like YouTube and Dropbox so that a student never feels like they have a lack of resources or information to help them.
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