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BM, Berklee College of Music, Drum Set Performance
2016 Berklee Alan Dawson Scholarship
I am a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music and have recently moved to NYC. At Berklee, I played in ensembles led by Ralph Peterson, Neal Smith, Walter Beasley, Billy Kilson, Joanne Brackeen and many other incredible teachers. I have studied with Casey Scheuerell, Neal Smith, Kim Plainfield and Billy Kilson. I have years of teaching experience beginning in high school to present day. I am comfortable teaching ALL LEVELS of drum set and beginner to intermediate piano. I am comfortable playing jazz styles as well as more rock oriented styles on the drum set. I have been playing piano for years and have a strong background in music theory which allows me to teach sight reading and theory on piano. I am comfortable teaching piano out of my apartment (I have a Casio CDP-130 keyboard), or coming to you. I make an effort to get to know my students goals and current ability on their instrument so that I can play to their strengths and improve their weaknesses. I love teaching beginners as well as adults!
I began teaching when I was in High School. My first teaching experience was mentoring younger musicians as drum line captain for two years. I lived in Cincinnati Ohio during my summers between semesters at Berklee College of Music. While home, I maintained a busy teaching schedule with beginners all the way up to college students in the Cincinnati area. I draw from my experiences studying with some of the best teachers and musicians in the world at Berklee College of music in order to be the best teacher possible.
If I'm teaching a beginning drummer or pianist my first goal is to help them realize that music is fun and the ability to play it is a gift. One of the most important concepts I teach my students is the ONE MONTH RULE. Multiple studies show that it takes at least a month to establish a new habit or routine. How does this relate to music? With younger students, I make sure to communicate with the parents about their practicing routine. If a student can be consistent with practicing over the period of a month then the habit of practicing will get easier and become more natural and less like a chore. Hard work in the beginning=life long habits. I have a few books I recommend purchasing for beginning to intermediate drum students such as The Drum Set Musician (Rod Morgenstein), Stick Control (George Lawrence Stone) and Syncopation (Ted Reed). The books I recommend purchasing for piano students is much more dependent on their goals and level of playing. Older drum students can expect to study concepts such as The Rudimental Ritual by Alan Dawson. Older piano students can expect to study chart reading found in The Real Book. I have ideas regarding lesson plans for students but my most important goal is to understand what the student WANTS to study and help them achieve their short term and long term goals in music.
When I meet with a student the first thing I try to find out is what they want from music lessons with me. I then assess their ability level and try to create a lesson plan that includes a lot of what they want to learn along with a bit of what I think they need to learn. I like to assign short term goals such as weekly or monthly homework that I can check up on in every lesson. I tend to edit my teaching style based on how successfully my students meet their goals. I honestly love teaching young and beginning students because they're an absolute blank slate, something I do not take lightly. Having fun and establishing a strong practice routine is paramount with younger students. I emphasize listening to records/music with all students but especially with more intermediate to advanced students. If I have a student that wants to become a more competent jazz player I'll try to recommend some famous records with tunes that are commonly played. This concept can be applied in any style of music. Listening critically to music is one of the most important things for musical growth.
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