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MM, Cleveland Institute of Music, Trumpet Performance
BM, Southern Methodist University, Trumpet Performance
2003 - Aspen Music Festival Brass Quintet Fellowship Recipient
2003 - Performed with Dave Brubeck Quartet and CIM Orchestra in Severance Hall, Cleveland OH
2000 - Performed with Angela Lansbury during Algur H. Meadows Award presentation ceremony, Dallas, TX
I'm a freelance trumpet player, guitarist, educator, songwriter, and composer here in New York City. I have been a student of the trumpet for almost 30 years, and my former teachers include Michael Sachs (Cleveland Orchestra), Raymond Mase (formerly of the American Brass Quintet), Tom Booth (formerly of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra), Larry Black, and James Thompson (both formerly of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra). I did my graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, as well undergraduate work at Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.
I have consistently maintained a teaching studio of trumpet students since 1997. I have taught people of all ages and skill levels, in both individual and group settings, as well as beginning guitar lessons, in addition to coaching students in music theory. I have been lucky enough to study with some of my idols, and I use an approach that mixes and matches the methods of these many teachers, based on what worked for me when I was studying with them. We all learn differently, so I try to avoid sticking only to one method when teaching. My number one goal is to discover what motivates and engages each individual student, and then tailor my curriculum around that.
For younger beginning students who are part of a music program at school, I typically have the students bring the books and/or handouts they're using at school to their lessons. Next, I observe the student's playing, in an attempt to determine where the gaps are in their development. This usually allows me to determine which books I will have the students purchase in order to supplement what they're doing in school in a way that will ensure complete and thorough development of basic fundamentals. Examples of methods that I have had success with are the Rubank, Mitchell, Lowell, Arban, and Hal Leonard.
My teaching style is relaxed, encouraging, informal, and fun. I find that young people tend to pay the most attention when the person relaying the info has more of a big brother/sister relationship with the student, rather than a more rigid authoritarian approach. If they think of me as just another adult trying to make them do things they don't think are fun, then music will never be fun. So I typically take a very relaxed approach during the first few lessons, to get the student to loosen up and feel comfortable, all while observing the student in order to assess their strengths and weaknesses, and figure out what types of music the student is interested in making. Then I can tailor their future lessons so that their goal of playing that type of music is never forgotten, or overshadowed by lots of "exercises" they feel aren't fun.
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