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MM, University of North Texas, Bass Performance, Jeff Bradetich, major professor BM, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Bass Performance, Jack Budrow, major professor
2012-Recording bassist, Grammy-nominated release Fitness Rock and Roll by Miss Amy and her Big Kids Band
2010-Performed at White House Easter Egg Roll with Miss Amy
2007-Tour of South Korea with the New Jersey Philharmonic
2000-Tour of England with The College of New Jersey Orchestra
My early training started with electric bass and double bass in classical and jazz arenas local to Michigan. Since then, I have played in many orchestra settings around the country, played jazz in small- and large-group bands, played many musical theater shows, and in original music rock group performances as well. I have given solo performance recitals on double bass, and performed a concerto with orchestra as bass soloist. I have toured England and South Korea with symphony orchestras. With Miss Amy and her Big Kids Band, I traveled to Los Angeles to be recognized at the 54th Grammy Awards for our Grammy-nominated release, Fitness Rock and Roll, and performed at the White House Easter Egg Roll in Washington, D.C. As part of Tin Roof Tango, a world-music-themed family music ensemble, I performed in numerous school shows in the Dallas, Houston, and Beaumont areas of Texas, and performed in theaters as the main attraction in Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, and Illinois.
I have been teaching bass since my master's program at the University of North Texas, where I taught undergraduate classical bass students. I have taught double bass and electric bass at home and at music stores for the past fifteen years, and also at The College of New Jersey, Rider University, Arcadia University, and the Lawrenceville School. My classical and jazz training gives me a strong background, which I combine with a sense of what each individual student needs to improve and excel. My wide range of work experience helps me to give my students a well-rounded musical viewpoint. My students are encouraged to audition for regionals and/or All-State programs in their area, try composing music for their instrument, and play and listen to a variety of styles of music to broaden their horizons and musical conceptions.
I tend to begin with certain Jamey Aebersold technical studies in bass clef, which I find to be useful for both electric bassists and double bassists alike, across a range of styles and techniques, and I find that the jazz tune book anthologies are helpful for developing jazz bass lines and improvisation skills. For classical bass, I use such standard time-honored methods as Simandl, while keeping pace with Rabbath developments. As soon as possible, I introduce the music of Johann Sebastian Bach as a comprehensive method for performance training and musical development. I also use simple bass-clef tune books to help develop my students' melodic sensibility.
I find it's best to build on techniques and conceptions the student already has. I have prepared my students to perform in such idioms as classical bass with piano, solo bass, jazz bass, rock bass, and in church/praise and worship settings. Learning should feel natural and organic, and I try to teach in a way that lets the student find their own way and grow creatively, while solidifying their teachnical prowess. Whenever possible, I relate school orchestra music or contest solos to relate to some other music the student may also be familiar with, to point out different learning aspects. I have encouraged my students to compose music for bass, and I have performed my own students' original music, while encouraging them to perform their own music as well.
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