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Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Technology
Music K-12 Florida Teacher Certification
2019 Bethune-Cookman University Alumni 40 under 40 Award
2018-2019 Rookie Teacher of the Year
2016-Present Instrumental Coach for the Miami Carol City High School Bands
I am very passionate about spreading the love of music to people of all ages. I am a proud graduate of Bethune-Cookman University with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Technology. I studied clarinet under Dr. Philip O. Paglialonga, member of the P. E. N. Trio, and Author of the clarinet methods book "Squeak Big", who studied under the great Mitchell Lurie among other great clarinetists. In addition, I studied operatic voice under Dr. Kimberly Haynes, and music showtunes under Ms. Lisa Lawrence. I have sang in various Opera Workshops and shows. I have played in many ensembles including the Marching Wildcats, the symphonic and concert bands of Bethune-Cookman, Interlochen Arts Camp (Interlochen, MI) Staff Recital, the South Florida Symphonic Band, various Alumni ensembles as well as toured a summer in the United Kingdom as a street performer. I look forward to instilling the next generation of musicians the lifelong passion for the performing arts.
My teaching experience began as early as high school when I would volunteer my time to teaching middle school students how to play instruments. I continued through college teaching both middle and high school students on my winter and summer breaks. I continued after my matriculation from university, and began to focus on the high school students. I was surprised at their growth on their instruments and intrigued at the passion they gained from our lessons.
For the last 4 years, I have been an instructor at Musika Lessons, and I've enjoyed watching my students have fun and learn loads in their lessons. In addition, I've taught Elementary music for the last 3 years and it has been a blast to see young minds experience musical concepts for the first time! We have fun, we work hard, and we make beautiful music.
The number 1 key to a great lesson is to ensure the student is comfortable within the lesson and that they are having fun.
For Vocal lessons in young beginner students, I typically walk through a few fun silly warm-ups, and breath exercises to get their voice moving free, then allow the student to sing "happy birthday" or another short song to determine pitch range. I follow-up with the "movable Do" concept ("fixed Do" for more advanced), to recognizable songs to teach pitch recognition, diction, and vowel sound in preparation for solo repertiore. For the more advanced, I will start with a few warm-ups, and breath exercises before singing a short song (happy birthday, and/or prepared piece) before determining vocal range and repertoire.
For clarinet beginners, I typically start with the "David Hite" methods book, and the "Big and Beautiful" technique outlined in "Squeak Big". I teach them to build a strong sound from open G and never leave a lesson until they can play a recognizable tune as they are learning the beginning concepts of breathing and technique. For the more advanced player, I introduce them to the "Rose 40 Etudes" book and prepare them for solo, and ensemble repertoire. The goal in every lesson is to keep it fun and engaging. I encourage all students in every level to practice regularly, and keep a notebook of their progress in lesson that they will use as a reference in their practice sessions. This will also allow me to monitor their progression to make adjustments as needed. Additionally, I encourage them to play in an ensemble, and schedule a performance even if it is for family and friends.
I am adamant about each student growing at his/her own pace. I will never force a student to go places they simply do not wish to go. The goal is to keep it fun, and foster those unique aha moments with the student and the craft. At the beginning of each lesson, I will set realistic goals, and inspire my students to do more than they thought was possible through music. I tailor my instruction to the students' interests, and fuel their passion. Nothing brings me more joy then to see my students develop the love of music.
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