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AA, American River College, Composition BM, California State University--Northridge, Composition (in progress)
2015 - Concerto/Aria Competition, American River College 2015 - Perla Warren Vocal Scholarship, American River College 2012 - La Kish Hayword Memorial Fund
I am a composer, vocalist, sometime percussionist and keyboard player. I received my Associates of Arts in Traditional Music, Composition from American River College in 2016. I am currently working on my Bachelors of Music in Music, Composition at California State University, Northridge. While at ARC, I studied composition, jazz theory, improve and piano with Joe Gilman. I studied classical piano with Heidi VanRegenmorter, classical voice with Catherine Fagiolo, and jazz vocal styles with Art LaPierre. I sang in both the classical and jazz choirs, and was percussion section leader in the Concert and Symphonic Bands, where I worked with Susan Hamre in organizing an annual High School Honor Band event, with guest conductor/composer Gary P. Gilroy. I also sang as a soloist with the ARC Orchestra as a winner of the 2016 Concerto/Aria Competition. At CSUN, I currently study composition with Liviu Marinescu, A.J. McCaffrey and Alexander Elliott Miller. I study classical voice with Erica Davis. This year, I have sung with the University Chorus under the direction of Dr. Katherine Baker in Mozart's Requiem and Handel's Messiah. I have also performed with the Percussion Ensemble under John Magnussen and the Steel Drum Ensemble with Gigi Rabe. This summer, I will be singing in the chorus for Tchaikovsky's opera Queen of Spades.
I began teaching private piano lessons in the fall of 2015. I have taught both adults and children, and have found the experience very rewarding, especially with adult learners. I got my own start in music very late, and was actively discouraged in my youth from pursuing it--so one of my main goals as an educator is to motivate students and encourage them that they can still be performers. Working with children has also been very rewarding, and has taught me that it is just as important to have fun when you're making music.
For children, I begin with Donald Waxman's Pageant for Piano series. The pieces are quite fun, and also good for technique. The illustrations also offer many opportunities for story-making and engagement. For adults, I begin with James Bastien's The Older Beginner Piano course, and for intermediate learners, supplement it with pieces from Bartok's Mikrokosmos, Czerny, Kabalevsky, Burgmuller's 24 Etudes, duets and various other literature as appropriate. Improvisational skills may also be taught. For singers: literature will vary depending on the students skills and interests, but overall focus will be on consistent tone production, breath-control, technique, musicianship and expression. Acting/expression and how to deal with stage-fright/singing with more confidence are also emphasized.
I try to find a balance between being laid-back and offering my students enough structure so that they can develop at an appropriate pace. While encouraging my students to find ways to express themselves, I also try to be realistic with them about the importance of musicianship and technique. Empathy is the most important thing for me, as I try to help and nurture my students to explore their own musical talents. It is wonderful to see students realizing they can do things now they never imagined possible before.
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