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BA at George Mason University in Theatre Studies and Minor in Music BA at George Mason University in Film & Video Studies University of Huddersfield, UK, Study Abroad in Theatre Studies and Music Studies
2015 - Percussion Performance with a headlining, official SXSW act, SORNE
2014 - Album Release for the Music Score to The Long-Term Side Effect, feature film recently nominated for BEST FILM at IndieCapitol Awards in Washington DC
2010 - Recognition for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre Studies and Academic Excellence in Film & Video Studies at George Mason University
2008 - "Arts By George" and "Osher Lifelong Learning" Recepient at George Mason University
I'm an animal. Before I'm a percussionist and pianist, composer and dancer, I am youthful. But I know how to balance an explosive energy behind the drum set with strict listening skills. My students learn just this... I am a critical thinker, open to the sounds surrounding me and open-minded to where, how, when, and why those sounds were created. As the “rhythm section," I hold it all together by absorbing those sounds, using abstract and mathmatical means to organize them and compliment them. I am a skilled communicator because I am both an ally and a leader.
Ten years ago in Washington DC, I began teaching classes at various studios and non profit organizations as well as privately at students' homes and my studio. Four years ago I moved to Austin, TX to complete post-production on a feature film, which I composed and performed the score for. Inspired by the city's rich music scene, I stayed and quickly picked up students all over Austin. In other words, I teach north, south, east, west, and central Austin, hosting at least three percussion rectials a year at popular music venues, usually two studio recording sessions a year where students can build their video and audio reels, as well as many other opportunities for showcasing students' original compositions, such as producing music videos.
Some students learn best by ear, some best by visuals… Some need to watch me play a beat, some need to practice in the dark… Some like to color code their sheet music and some like to just draw pictures of shoes and hands… I create custom lesson plans starting with what seems to be the easiest approach for the student to learn, but then challenge him/her to try other methods as well. In parellel to that, some students don’t like jazz, some students only want to learn traditional grip… Some students don’t like using their feet, some students only want to play double kick… I always teach students what they are eager to learn, but then challenge them to explore other genres and techniques. Even if a student doesn’t like Samba but then gives it a try, he/she will take away from it something, even if the experience just proves what he/she doesn’t like! The way I preach that my favorite percussionists are the ones with their own unique style, I encourage my students to find inspirations in everything around them in order to create their own unique style.
Playing percussion can serves us in all walks of life, such as improvisational techniques leading to creative problem solving. However, I find the most rewarding benefits are when playing percussion is seen as a therapeutic tool, going much deeper than mere expression. I've had students with various needs, ranging from agression to physical deformities. I have worked with students as low as age three and as old as age sixty-five, some in wealthy private schools and some in halfway houses, but I respect every student the same and will teach any student who wants to learn. Because ANYONE can play percussion.
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