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Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance, Chapman University, 2017
Master of Fine Arts in World Percussion Performance, California Institute of the Arts, 2020
2017 - 2020 - Lavine and Sternburg Scholarship
2017 - Chapman University Percussion Performance Award
2013–2017 - Chapman University Instrumental Scholarship
2013 - Louie Armstrong Jazz Award
2011 - Berklee College of Music Judges Choice Award
I'm a very passionate and driven instructor who really enjoys working with students of all different ages and skill levels and watching them grow, and learn to love their instrument and music in general. My main instrument is Percussion and Drumset, but I also teach Piano and Ukulele as well. In 2017, I graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelors Degree in Percussion Performance, and in 2020 I graduated with my Master of Fine Arts in World Percussion Performance from California Institute of the Arts. As a percussionist, I am proficient in a vast amount of instruments from all over the world, and have experience performing in a wide variety of musical styles. I am very comfortable in classical, jazz, pop and hip-hop styles as well as traditional musics from all over the globe including Brazilian, West African, Indian, Persian, Arabic and more. I have performed all over California, from concerts to percussion ensemble competitions, as well as various performances on the east coast and in Tennessee at the Neif-Norf Summer Festival. Some highlights have been the performing at Disneyland, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and Musco Center for the Arts, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Red Cat Theatre, American Choral Directors Association Western Division Conference and much more.
I began teaching during my time as an undergraduate Percussion student at Chapman University. Around my junior year in college I began subbing for private lessons, and I also got a job as a front ensemble instructor for a high school drumline in the area. This gave me the opportunity to teach a group of about 10 students twice a week after school for two years. I believe this is really what made me fall in love with teaching. I really enjoyed motivating the students, teaching them about musicianship, but also about how to be better people in the process. I loved watching them grow and succeed both musically and personally, and the bond that the teacher-student relationship created was quite inspiring to me. From there I began to teach more and more. When I entered graduate school, I became a teaching assistant for my private teacher. I was assigned some classes to teach as well as private lessons in World Percussion to both undergraduate and graduate students. I also got a job at a music store teaching private lessons, and worked for a community partnership organization, helping teach African Drumming at an elementary school in the area. Throughout my last 5 years teaching, I have taught all ages from Transitional Kindergarten all the way through college on to adult students. I have taught classes at the collegiate level, high school and middle school, and thoroughly enjoyed each age group for different reasons. I've learned so many things throughout my time teaching, but if there is one that I would consider most important, it's that nothing motivates students better than passion and love for there craft, so I try to foster that in each student that I teach, no matter what.
I have two main goals as a teacher, no matter the age or experience level of the student. The first is that the student enjoys learning their instrument, so I tailor my teaching and curriculum specifically to each individual student. The second is that the student is consistently improving each week, and properly motivated to practice. This is the only way they will achieve their musical and artistic dreams. My top priority is developing students into well rounded musicians. This means that my curriculum is split up between different musical topics. These topics include learning to read musical notation, sight reading, developing the hands through drum technique exercises/rudiments and learning grooves/songs the student enjoys. These fundamentals are coupled with teaching the students a sense of musical individualism through improvisation exercises like creating their own grooves and songs. A typical lesson will start with a warm up, then some reading exercises, and technique work on rudiments. Then we would play through whatever new groove or song I had assigned them last week and critique it. I would then end the lesson with questions and also some fun improvisational exercises. It is my hope that when students leave lessons with me, and move on to the next phase of their musical journey, that no area of their musicianship is deficient. A good musician is a dedicated, hardworking well rounded musician.
My teaching philosophy is simple and straightforward. I always put the student first. Nothing motivates students better than passion and love for their instrument. In order to progress musically, a student must LOVE what they do. For this reason, I tailor my teaching specifically to meet each of my students needs, because each student learns differently. I take creative approaches to motivating my students to inspire improvement every week and FUN is my primary motivation. I want each student to LOVE their lessons and LOVE their instrument, so I try to incorporate many things the student enjoys into the lessons. I view myself as merely a tour guide for the student, but they drive the bus. I give them the tools and well rounded foundation they need to successfully accomplish their own musical goals. Constructivism is a big part of my approach as a teacher. I fully believe that I student learns better when they are forced to critically think, so instead of giving them all the answers I probe them to make the discoveries on their own. I LOVE TEACHING SO MUCH. Watching students learn and grow brings me all the joy in the world, and I only hope to teach more as time goes on.
As a tabla and percussion student of Cole, I would highly recommend his teaching to any student at any level/age. His teaching style works well with anyone who enjoys music and wants to have fun. He is one of the best teachers around!
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