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Bachelor Degree: University of Manitoba
2014 - University of Manitoba Merit Scholarship
2016 - Reg and Anne Memorial Scholarship
2019 - Stingray Music Rising Star Award
I am a saxophone player, composer, and educator based in upper Manhattan. I grew up in Massachusetts, where I attended the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, and later went to the University of Manitoba on a full scholarship to study with Jon Gordon. After finishing my undergraduate degree, I toured across Canada with several bands, and then moved to New York to continue my professional career. I have had the honor of playing in jazz festivals across Canada and in the States as well. I have also had the pleasure of receiving instruction from some great teachers, including Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Will Vinson, Joel Frahm, Quincy Davis, and Mark Zaleski.
I have been teaching saxophone lessons ever since I was 15 years old, when I used to mentor other students who were just starting to play. I am comfortable teaching all ages, and have had students in the past ranging from ages 6 to 50. Teaching is a great joy for me; some of my proudest moments have been at student recitals, watching young musicians play! I have found that the best way to inspire students to improve is by giving them performance opportunities and long term goals to strive for. I have prepared some students for college auditions, and some others just want to play in the park. Either way, I think it is great seeing my students evolve into young artists in their own right.
For younger students, I find that book based methods are very helpful, and typically I go through the Hal Leonard Essential Elements Series. Once the student has a firm handle of the basics of saxophone (fingerings, embouchure, dynamics, etc.) then I start having them read etude books, and prepare pieces for recitals and other performances or auditions. For adults, I like to teach based on a goal oriented program. For example, If I have a student who is only interested in learning the saxophone for the sake of playing "Yakety Sax" or "The Pink Panther Theme", then I will tailor the lesson plan towards learning that while still working on the fundamentals of Saxophone along the way. The most important thing to me is that my students are having fun and enjoying playing music, so I am always open to working towards each students individual goals, no matter what they are!
The first thing I like to establish with my students is a solid practice routine. There is no formula that works perfectly for everyone, but I do have a very good system which can easily be altered to fit each students individual needs. The next step is to set realistic goals. When students have a clear vision of what they are working towards, it is much easier to stay motivated and on track to achieving those goals. Of course, the most important thing along the way is that everyone is having fun! Music is for enjoyment after all, so I always like to give my students listening recommendation, both for motivation and general listening. This keeps my students inspired and eager to learn!
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