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Master Degree: University of Arkansas
Bachelor Degree: The New England Conservatory
Award-winning trombonist, Blake M., originates from Eastern Iowa. A performer of both jazz and classical, Blake has performed in many national and international festivals and contests including The Grammys, The Music For All Festival, The Sienna Jazz Festival, The Monterey Jazz Festival, The Montreal Jazz Festival, The Jazz Educators Network Conference, and the Iowa City Jazz Festival. Blake received the top soloist award 3 years in a row at the Iowa Jazz Championships and was a member of the University of Iowa’s Johnson County Landmark Band during his last two years of high school. Blake has performed as part of the Grammy Jazz Band, Jazz Band of America, Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, Iowa All-state Jazz Band, Iowa All-state Band, Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, The Symphony of Northern Arkansas and the Brubeck Jazz Colony.
Blake recently graduated with his masters in trombone performance from the University of Arkansas where he served as a teaching assistant to the trombone studio. While in Arkansas, Blake held the position of 2nd trombone in the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra. Blake has studied with many esteemed instructors and accomplished performers including Norman Bolter, Marshal Gilkes, Toby Oft, Donny McCaslin, Jerry Bergonzi, Luis Bonilla, John Mcneil, Efstratios Minakakis, Cory Mixdorf, and Jonathan Allen. Blake has performed with such names as Chick Corea, Joe Lovano, Miguel Zenon, Bobby Shew, Donny McCaslin, Arturo Sandoval, Ambrose Akinmusire, Jonathan Batiste, John Fedchock, Chad Lefkowitz Brown, Dave Holland, and Stanley Clarke.
I have been teaching privately for the past 7 years and absolutely love it! I love helping my students achieve their goals weather that be concrete or abstract! I've been teaching classes and lessons at the university level for the past two years as well. I have mostly been teaching in trombone (all genres), jazz improvisation, ear training, and music theory but am comfortable teaching within many other concepts. I have been teaching piano on and off for the past 2 years and teach piano at a very beginning level.
I approach each student in their own unique way based on their own goals and experiences. As a trained jazz musician, I like improvising and composing exercises for students on the spot and this is a skill I like to teach my students as well. It is important to me that students learn to be their own teacher so that they can improve at their craft continually for years to come. I do use many method books with my students especially for brass technique development and will occasionally use some books to help with theory and jazz improvisation.
Nothing is more rewarding than seeing real life results from my students. Setting concrete goals is very important for me and my students, weather that be to get into all-state or to be able to play a scale at a certain bpm. First and foremost, I hope to cultivate passion in my students. I believe that when a student is passionate they can learn to teach themselves and my job is to provide that student with as many different tools as possible. I also make it an emphasis with my students to listen to as much music as possible as we can learn a lot from recordings in what we do and don't like.
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