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BM, Indiana University, Jazz Studies Certificate in Music Entrepreneurship, Indiana University
2014 - DownBeat Magazine Student Music Award for Outstanding Jazz Combo 2015 - Invited to perform at annual Jazz Education Network Conference in San Diego 2017 - Performed with Marquis Hill at The Jazz Gallery (NYC) 2017 - Nominated for American Pianists Association's Cole Porter Jazz Fellowship 2016-18 - Spent a combined 7 semesters in Indiana University's top big band and small ensemble in the Jazz Studies program
Hello! I graduated from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz Studies (their way of saying "Jazz Piano") in the spring of 2018. During my time at IU, I took both Jazz and Classical performance lessons, and played a myriad of music in those styles plus Pop, R&B, and Blues. I played in IU's esteemed Wallarab Ensemble (the school's top big band) for five semesters, and spent one year (the maximum alloted time for any student) in the Plummer Ensemble, IU's flagship jazz group which performs around the country. I also played very regularly at Indianapolis's most famous jazz clubs, The Jazz Kitchen and The Chatterbox. After graduating, I moved to New York in July, and am now pursuing a variety of opportunities as a performer and teacher. Here in NYC, I have performed at The Jazz Gallery, Rockwood Music Hall, and some smaller venues around the city. I have a home studio (featuring a gorgeous, state-of-the-art 6' Steinway baby grand piano) in my apartment, but can also travel to students' homes with no complaints.
I have been teaching private lessons since 2015, my freshman year in college. During that time, I have had students from a variety of ages, backgrounds, and levels of proficiency. My first teaching influence was my mom, who was a high school orchestra director and continues to teach strings to elementary school students part-time today. I have also been blessed to study with some truly amazing private instructors at IU's tremendous music school, namely Luke Gillespie (jazz piano), Fred Hammond (classical piano), Walter Smith III (improvisation), Steve Houghton (improvisation), and more. From observing these teachers and gaining my own teaching experience, I have learned the importance of balancing repertoire, technique, and ear training. I have experience teaching jazz, classical, and popular music, and feel comfortable in each setting.
One of the biggest things I've learned from teaching students and being a student myself is that ultimately, the student's mindset and practice habits are the biggest determinant in their improvement. That is why I believe strongly in getting to know each individual student before designing a week-by-week curriculum that I feel is best for them. Books I tend to use often include the Faber "Piano Adventures" series, Hanon, and Bartok's "Mikrokosmos" (for sightreading practice). Beyond those, I select repertoire based on what the student is interested in playing and what I think they need to work on.
I emphasize both notes and rhythms in my teaching, and for both notes and rhythms, I strongly believe in the importance of being able to not only read them, but hear and feel them as well. These aural skills are an immense part of accelerating a student's development, helping them learn and memorize music quickly, familiarizing them with music theory, and creating a close personal relationship between themselves and their musical studies. These skills often make students enjoy music more, and are also absolutely crucial for playing any style outside of classical. In learning any song, I have my students go through a process that involves clapping rhythms and singing notes/melodies/harmonies before they actually play the song.
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