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MM, Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, California State University, Long Beach, Cello Performance (in progress) BM, Baldwin-Wallace Univeristy, Cello Performance and Music Composition
I am a cellist, composer, and instructor currently based in Long Beach. I graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) in 2010, and received my Bachelor's degree from Baldwin-Wallace University in 2015, studying Cello Performance with Regina Mushabac and Music Composition with Dr. Clint Needham. I am currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Cello Performance at Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at Cal State Long Beach, studying with Joon Sung Jun. To date my career has been extremely multifaceted and eclectic. As a freelance gigging cellist I have performed at weddings, religious ceremonies, parties, engagements, and performance art events, as a solo, chamber, and orchestral cellist. Many of these gigs have called for not only standard classical repertoire, but also pop and contemporary songs, which I have been able to arrange for my instrument myself. A few notable orchestras I have performed with include the West Coast Symphony, the Orange County Symphony, and the Santa Monica College Opera Orchestra. As a hired session cellist, I have recorded and performed with a variety of rock, metal, pop, and neofolk acts including Abigail Williams, Bryan Lanning, A Hill to Die Upon, and Osi and the Jupiter. I have performed as a live cellist for Nirvanish, a Nirvana cover band from Orange County, and with Paisely Shades, a psychedelic funk band from Long Beach. I also have my own group which plays a hybrid style of metal and chamber music.
I have taught cello consistently since 2014. I received pedagogical training from my cello teacher Regina Mushabac in 2014. This included taking on several students, some of whom stayed on with me until I left Ohio for California. While these students all came to me at various skill levels, I made sure to revisit with them the fundamentals of technique, posture, and basic knowledge of the instrument, including eliminating tension. Upon returning to my native California in 2015, I have taught students of all ages and skill levels throughout the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas.
I generally rely on Hal Leonard's Essential Elements for Strings books when teaching beginners. These are great for building fundamentals on the instrument and introducing students to reading music. I supplement this with scales and the first Suzuki cello book, for an introduction to learning repertoire. As the student advances, we eventually shed the Essential Elements books in favor of various etudes books, depending on the student's needs. Once a student advances further along the Suzuki method, I ask them to explore appropriate repertoire of their choosing. While this can and should involve classical standards (Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Brahms) the student also has the option to venture outside of classic music. This could include, pop, rock, folk, hip-hop, film and video game scores, and anything else that peaks the student's interest. Having a composition background enables me to provide cello arrangements and adaptations of various music for the student to learn, as well as accompaniments so we can play together in an ensemble context.
I always make a point of meeting the student where they are at their development and building on that. My teaching philosophy is based primarily upon aiding the student in self-expression. While fundamental technique and repertoire are of course crucial in the pairing cellist's development, the ultimate goal is to provide the student with the means to use the instrument to further their own musical interests. With that in mind, whatever the student wishes to ultimately learn how to play, in whatever style, my goal is to give them the foundation to accomplish that.
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