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MFA, California Institute of the Arts, Instrumental Arts BM, Florida State University, Music Therapy with Specialized Studies in Performance
2018 - Second Prize in the Riverside Philharmonic Concerto Competition 2017 - Second Oboe Soloist for Bach's First Brandenburg at the Sarasota Music Festival; chamber music soloist in Barber's "Summer Music" for wind quintet at the same festival, performing with renowned faculty artists 2017 - Soloist for Bach's concerto for Oboe and Violin at California Institute of the Arts 2016 - Contributed to Avey Tare's (of Animal Collective) recent album "Eucalyptus", Blonde Redhead's EP "3 O'Clock", and numerous film and TV scores. Frequent appearances with Los Angeles ensembles Wild Up, Jacaranda Music, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, Wordless Orchestra, Horizon Symphony Orchestra, and more.
Hello future Musika students! My name is Breana and I'm a multi-instrumentalist, improviser, teacher, and board-certified Music Therapist based in Los Angeles. I have a passion for exploring diverse music idioms, close collaboration with composers and other musicians, and the music of J.S. Bach. As a performer I've made appearances with wild Up, Jacaranda Music, Wordless Music Orchestra, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, The Echo Society (in collaboration with Grammy-winning composer Jeremy Zuckerman), the American Youth Symphony, and the Debut Orchestra. I've appeared in performance with Eyvind Kang, Vinny Golia, Bill Frisell, Steve Vai, and Dr. Nancy Ambrose King (under the direction of Maestro Jeffrey Kahane).
As a soloist I've performed Bach’s Concerto for Oboe and Violin with violinist Rachel Iba and the CalArts Ensemble, and won second prize in the Riverside Philharmonic’s 2018 Concerto Competition with my performance of Vaughan William’s Oboe Concerto. I also work as a studio musician, contributing to film and TV scores as well pop albums such as Blonde Redhead’s 3 O’Clock and Avey Tare’s (of Animal Collective) newest release, Eucalyptus.
I earned a BM degree in Music Therapy with specialized studies in Oboe Performance at Florida State University in 2014 and an MFA in Instrumental Arts from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 2017. My principal teachers have included Dr. Eric Ohlsson and Dr. Allan Vogel. In addition, I've studied English horn with Carolyn Hove, baroque oboe with Gonzalo Ruiz, jazz improvisation with Paul Novros, free improvisation with Vinny Golia, and North Indian music/improvisation with Ashish Khan. I've performed in masterclasses with Dr. Rebecca Henderson, Dr. Nancy Ambrose King, Dr. Stephen Taylor, Frank Rosenwein, Art Lande, and Elizabeth Blumenstock. A board-certified Music Therapist with the American Music Therapy Association, I completed a six-month clinical internship providing Music Therapy for patients in end-of-life hospice care. I also have practicum experience with children with developmental disabilities, at-risk youth, and the elderly. I maintain a private teaching studio in Los Angeles, in which I assist children and adults with everything from exploring their first sounds to successfully auditioning for university music programs.
I've been teaching woodwinds and strings for about 8 years now, to students of all ages and abilities. In that time, I've worked with students making their very first sounds, all the way to helping my students successfully audition for university music programs (often receiving scholarship!). My training and certification in Music Therapy gives me an additional perspective on how music and musical ideas can be used to improve and assist all aspects of life, and in particular I enjoy working with students who possess learning or developmental difficulties.
I use a wide variety of methods depending on the student's current ability level, musical preferences, and goals. I'm also willing to work with a method or book that a student is currently using. Generally, my students have a varying ratio of technique/scale study to work on the foundations, an etude/short piece study to help connect musical ideas and teach expression, and a solo piece that is prepared over a long period of time, most likely for a future recital. Within that there is a lot of flexibility depending on a particular student's desires and what gets them excited about making sounds!
Music is experienced ears-first, and that's how I prefer to teach. I certainly teach everyone to read music if they don't already know how, but I really like to help people hear the music they want to make. This is done through listening assignments, playing with my students during lessons, some music memorization, and singing. I also incorporate a lot of improvisation games to get students making sounds pressure-free and help them access their inner expressive voice. I set realistic, concrete goals for each of my students to provide them with consistent encouragement while giving them plenty of space to develop at their own pace. I aim for lessons to be enjoyable and just the right amount of challenging so that students are inspired to discover their own passion for music!
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