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Instituto Pre-Universitario del Vedado. Havana, Cuba.
High School Graduate, June 1984. Conservatorio de la Habana. Havana, Cuba.
Master of the Arts Degree (8 years of study). Majored in Classical Clarinet, graduated May 2000.
Collaborated in the translation of pianist & Grammy nominee (2003 & 2010) Mark Levine’s “The Piano Jazz Theory,” from English to Spanish for publication in Spanish.
I am an enthusiastic instructor who likes to share the joy and dedication that is required to play music with students of differents ages and levels. I am a native from Cuba but have been living in San Francisco Bay Area for more than 10 years, which has given me the opportunity to participate in artistic events from diverse cultures. I had participated in several events and festivals not only related to music but also to dance, such as the San Francsico Carnaval with the Brazilian Ensemble BATALA, the CUBA CARIBE Festival, and this year I will participate in the Ethnic Dance Festival with the Afro- Peruvian "PROYECTO LANDO".
My experience in teaching is not only in the musical aspect. I was also a Spanish teacher for Centro Latino in Berkeley. Teaching music is like teaching another languages. In my specialties, clarinet and saxophone, the pause, breathing and acentuation have a very important part in phrasing the notes. The melody should flow "as we speak", in a normal way and with the right entonation. I have two children who are also musicians, an 11 year old daughter and a 13 year old son. They both play clarinet and piano, and my daughter is now starting in violin. Even though I am not a violin player, THE METHOD IS THE SAME!
For beginners the first sound is the most important basic thing for a horn player (woodwind or brass). For children I use easy melodies they remember. This is helpful so they won't get bored or tired easily. There are important transitional mechanisms in the clarinet especially that have to be overcome before starting with the scales studies. The books I use depend on the interest of the students. I have books for JAZZ, BRAZILIAN MUSIC, or CLASSICAL MUSIC (from Concert Solos to Opera overtures).
For me the most important thing is to keep the students motivated. If that is not the case they won't do their part when they go home to practice. Sometimes I explain the theory and practical use of some exercises that in the beginning look tedious or exhausting so that the students can have a bigger idea of how the structure of music is created. Clarinet and saxophone are melodic instruments. Most of the time they are like "lead vocals", but sometimes when playing in Jazz Band, Concert Band or Orchestras the lead instruments become part of the harmony. Preparing the musician as soloist or as part of an orchestra will help him or her to be the most efficient in any environment. That is my goal!
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