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Bachelor Degree: State University of New York College at Fredonia, Master Degree: State University of New York College at Fredonia, Doctoral Degree: Northwestern University
IB Music Certification
AP Music Theory Certification
I am a passionate and well-rounded musician and educator. Most importantly, I LOVE music! I believe it is imperative to foster love and appreciation for music as music is such an important part living life! I have performed with orchestras and other performing ensembles all over the United States and also in Spain, Italy, Hungary, Panama, and Mexico. I have also worked as a church musician, directing handbell choirs, vocal groups and accompanying on both organ and piano. I have experience playing electric bass, piano, and guitar in folk, rock, jazz, and electronic music groups. Aside from my accomplishments as a performer, I am also a well-educated pedagogue and child development specialist. I have three degrees in music education. Throughout my studies I have a wealth of knowledge on how individuals learn music. Further, I have studied the relationship between musical study and emotional well-being. I sincerely enjoy making music with people of all ages, musical interests and abilities! I believe if you want to learn music, you can!
I am originally from upstate New York and earned both my BM and MME at SUNY Fredonia. I have been teaching private and small group lessons for over twenty years. I also have extensive experience teaching ensemble music in public and private schools in Buffalo (NY), Houston, Madrid, Spain and Chicago. I have also worked as an Adjunct Professor at SUNY Fredonia, Roosevelt University, and Lake Forest College. I have published scholarly articles on music teaching and learning and have presented at conferences worldwide.
I typically use a combination of methods in the private lesson setting-method books, etude books, books for technique, solo repertoire, and pop/rock/jazz music and or charts for contemporary study. For beginners, I like Essential Elements 2000, Faber Method, Suzuki solo books, and easy pop music books. For more advanced students, I will incorporate advanced methods such as etude books/orchestral excerpts along with repertoire geared more towards polishing for recital or performance. In terms of philosophy, I work hard to make connections between the student's musical interests in their personal lives with the music we work on in the private lesson setting. I am a certified AP Music Theory and IB Music instructor and so I am capable of teaching the musical theory behind the practice.
I believe three elements of teaching make an outstanding teacher: reflecting on practice, fostering meaningful and positive relationships, and emphasizing student engagement. Teaching is a challenging and often relentless profession. Therefore, it is imperative that teachers reflect upon their practice to build on what works in the classroom and also to modify what needs improvement. Nurturing personal and meaningful relationships is also key. When students and their parents believe that a teacher is invested in a child's learning and future, we find growth. In music, students are likely invested in music in their personal lives and therefore, connections can be made to drive concepts home. When music educators understand and nurture the overall learning experience of their students, a well-rounded and holistic educational experience unfolds. Lastly, I believe that student engagement is crucial. If the students are not attentive and involved in the content that is being delivered, it is unlikely they will gain knowledge. If a student finds they do not like the music we are studying, we can easily find something we like! I feel it is important to address a wide range of skills and abilities in private lesson setting. I believe that, regardless of background, experience, skill set, or talent, music is a fabulous setting for fostering teamwork. I strive to recognize the strengths whether this be performance, aural skills, or even music appreciation! I am an effective teacher because I recognize that each child has a musical gift to share. I work to create a safe, creative and wholesome learning environment where my students are encouraged to incorporate a wide range of diverse musical interests into their learning.
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