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BFA, Sterling College, Theatre Education (Minor in Music) Kansas Teaching License MFA Scenic Art, University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Currently Enrolled)
2010-2012 - Sterling College Highland Singers (Select Ensemble)
2015 Artistic Director/Designer of Cinderella at Liberal High School. Nominated for Best Production Number, Best Supporting Actress, Best Stage Crew, and Best Costumes
2014 Artistic Director/Designer of Godspell at Liberal High School.
2012 - Performed with Joseph Martin at Lincoln Center.
I grew up surrounded by music, theatre, sports and teaching; Mom was a music major, her instrument was piano, and Dad was a theatre major (who went to college on a football scholarship) and he played the drums. My earliest memories are of Mom playing the piano, Dad drumming, and me dancing all over the living room. I have been singing since I could talk and I started taking piano lessons around the age of 6. I was in choir and band all throughout middle/high school and went to college unsure if I wanted to focus on music or theatre. I was very active in both departments and continued to take private piano and voice lessons but theatre won out and my primary focus changed to scenic painting. However, music remains a huge part of my life. I love that no matter where I am or who I am with music brings people together in a way that nothing else can. I have seen that first hand on mission trips, in the classroom, and in my daily life.
The past two years I spent teaching high school theatre; I learned so much! My favorite teaching moments were after school when kids came in for extra help, or Saturday work days teaching a kid how to build scenery, or at rehearsal in the evenings. I loved working with the kids who really wanted to learn something new and who were willing to try something new and scary, and put in the work. I had two girls who loved to act and really wanted to be in the musical but had never sung a note. We worked every day after school for two weeks before auditions. I ended up casting them as Cinderella's Stepsisters. Their song was nominated for a Jester Award (a state-wide theatre awards program for Kansas High Schools) for Best Production Number. Their reaction when they heard was priceless. I enjoy getting to know my students and understand how their brains work. No two people learn the same way. The better I know my students the better I can motivate them to put in the hard work that is necessary for their success.
I have been around nearly every popular piano series and I think each one is has some solid areas. With beginners I like to pick and choose from different books, the primary lesson book being chosen once I meet the student and get a feel for how quickly they are going to progress. Reading music and counting are both so very important if you want to be a successful musician, which means they are the foundation of all my lessons. Also posture, breathing, and proper technique need to be taught from the beginning so you don't injure yourself.
As I get to know my students I will learn better how to teach them. Some people respond best to big challenges, some people learn best with baby steps. Either way it is so important to take time and look back to see how much you have grown, and to celebrate both large and small milestones. Learning something new is a crazy amount of work, so it's important that you enjoy it.
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