2014- Graduated Summa Cum Laude
2014- Graduated from Centennial Honors College with University Honors
2018- Faust Horn Scholarship
2020- Creative and Scholarly Activities Grant for original research
2021- Creative and Scholarly Activities Grant for original research
Hello there! My name is Eric, and I eagerly await getting a chance to work with you! Teaching music is one of the most enjoyable things I do, and I hope to instill a limitless passion for music in my students! I have my bachelor's degree in music education from Western Illinois University, a master's in horn performance also from WIU, and I have just finished my doctorate in horn performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I have performed with a wide variety of ensembles, including concert bands, wind ensembles, orchestras, brass quintets, and woodwind quintets. Notable examples include the Quincy Symphony Orchestra, Celestial Winds, and the Chicagoland Educator's Orchestra, Lincoln Municipal Band, and Hastings Symphony Orchestra. In addition to my performance and teaching experience, I am currently engaged in research about the construction of instruments that are the precursors to modern brass instruments. I have received funding from two separate grants provided by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and have already presented my research at the UNL Husker Horn Day, and at the Western Illinois University Horn Festival.
Before entering graduate school, I served as a band director in Illinois public schools for two years. During that time, I taught a 4th grade recorder class, 5th grade band, 6th grade band, 7th/8th grade band, and high school band. During graduate school I was the instructor of horn for the Western Illinois University Summer Music Institute, and I have taught private horn lessons to a variety of undergraduate music students as a part of my graduate teaching assistantship at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I currently teach private lessons to a variety of students on instruments. Brass instruments are my specialty, and I can work with students of any skill level on them. I can also teach piano lessons, as well as beginning violin lessons.
For beginning students on brass instruments, we will send time getting the student to be comfortable holding and playing the instrument with a good, air driven sound. Once the student is able to reliably play their first notes in a rhythmic fashion, we can begin working on introducing music notation into the equation. Books I suggest will generally be books more specialized for each individual instrument, rather than method books used in band classrooms. For beginning students in piano, we will work from the Faber Series of books, working on getting comfortable with finding notes, and playing in proper rhythm against a steady beat. For more advanced piano students, we will work from whatever materials the student already has, and work to build their skills in a manner tailored to their individual needs. For beginning violin lessons, we will focus on understanding the fundamentals of controlling the violin and producing the best possible tone on the instrument while teaching students the fundamentals of rhythm and music reading.
My general approach to teaching is designed to help students develop their musical independence. I give students a certain level of information, and then lead them down the implications of what I have told them. While memorization is important, rote memorization without process or thought is not the most effective way to encode information or muscle memory into long term memory. The method I employ is meant to help with that. In doing so, this also creates an environment in which students will make many "mistakes" as they are lead to the answers, rather than spoon fed them. I strive to create a safe learning environment in which mistakes are treated as information to be used to make corrections, not as condemnations of the student. For brass instruments, my pedagogy is built upon the premise that we should be striving to produce an excellent sound as early as possible. Many teachers think a good tone is something that is less important than other musical skills. However, if the student does not have a good tone, it is because they are actively doing things that are hindering their ability to play.