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MM, New England Conservatory, Vocal Performance
BA, Huntingdon College, Vocal Performance and Music Theory/Composition
I am here for you, the student. I take you where you want to go with music. I don't force any prescribed notions about what your musical goals SHOULD be, unless you're unsure of them.
As a military brat, growing up, I had the privilege (and challenge) of moving a lot. I am familiar with a wide variety of cultures, types of people, and musical abilities and interests. I have loved music for as long as I can remember; I have delved ever further into it over my lifetime (and continue to do so); and I love bringing whatever knowledge out of the "sea" of music there is to students who are eager to learn. Furthermore, I love getting "out of the way," so they can learn. Things that get IN the way are bureaucracy, stuffiness, overbearing attitudes, lack of curiosity, laziness, and pressure, to name a few. I have a track record of overcoming these obstacles to bring out the music YOU love from within you.
My expertise is vast -- encompassing hundreds of performances in a variety of styles from operatic/classical to loud and rowdy rock to sublime Christian church music (old and new); encompassing over a decade's worth of teaching experience, from ages 6 to 72 (so far), on several instruments AND voice. My degrees include theory, composition, and singing, but I have been a composing, improvising, sight-reading pianist from childhood on. I have played guitar (including as a successful, gigging musician -- solo, ensemble, and musical theater) for over 20 years. Bass, drums, theory, vocal harmonies, songwriting, even ukulele -- take your pick (more than one if you like!), and let's see what strikes your fancy. With all of this experience (and it would take too long to list it all), I never lose sight of what YOU like, where YOU want to go, and how I can help YOU get there -- as fast as possible . . . with plenty of laughs along the way!
I have a few books I've become fond of (such as Faber, Schirmer, Hal Leonard, etc), but I have gone months at a time using no books at all -- keeping students happy. Not everyone prefers the same approach, and while I can offer expert guidance for those who aren't sure what to do, one of my main goals is simply to experiment with students, an attitude I try to foster in them too: You can work and work on some particular piece or song, but if you did it for extrinsic purposes . . . I doubt you will be very happy about it in the long run. On the other hand, even very simple goals, when pursued with love, almost always provide a bedrock of UNIVERSAL musical information, no matter what form the goal might take. In other words, anything you want to work on musically will teach you more than JUST a specific song or piece; and I consider it my job to help you see just how much of a treasure is waiting under the surface, which you can then use for all other pieces of music you explore in the future.
Apart from treating time as the precious resource it is (meaning I will give your time the utmost respect and expect the same from you) . . . my style is friendly, patient, and "open" to an extreme. If you have particular goals, communicate them to me, and I will teach you everything relevant to them. If you don't, I will help you identify your goals. If you want to remain "goal-free" (for example, because you used to have some forceful teacher, punishing you for your "lack of dedication" or the like), I have a blast simply looking into facets of music with a curious student. If, at some point, some smaller goal materializes, on we go. If you are the type who craves a lot of pressure from a teacher, I am more than capable of piling that on for you; just don't count on me to be "upset" at you for not practicing, since years of experience have told me that this does practically nothing good for anyone involved. I do not consider it my job to motivate you to be interested in music. I consider it my moral obligation to respond with all I can offer to whatever musical interests you have or suspect you have.
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