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BS, Florida A&M University, Jazz Studies and Commercial Music
2014-2017 - Charter member and principal saxophonist in the Fort Washington Symphonic Winds 2008 - Performed in as an ambassador in the Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremonies. 2007 - Performed in the halftime show at Super Bowl XLI with recording artist Prince
I found love when I learned to make music. I have been playing saxophone since elementary school and even focused my college studies around it, graduating with honors from Florida A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Jazz Studies and Commercial Music. I've had a wide range of experiences through music from Superbowl appearances to touring China as a musical ambassador for the 2008 Olympic games. I've performed with a number of well known jazz and classically trained musicians including the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. My teaching experience dates back to my high school years when I started a saxophone choir and directed my high school jazz band and continued through college when I started my first studio. I currently serve as the principal saxophone in the Fort Washington Symphonic Winds and a guest clinician for the Oxon Hill High School music department.
I had an opportunity to start teaching early as a student leader in my high school music program and continuing into college. I've found that my students have a much higher level of success when they are encouraged to practice regularly at home. I use classical repertoire to build techniques across styles and modern music to keep students engaged. If they aren't enjoying themselves, I'm not doing something correctly. I encourage students to enter recitals and competitions as well as create their own original material. I look forward to sharing the gift of music everyday.
For beginning students who are children, I begin with method books to teach the fundamentals and establish good practice routines. Once a good foundation is established, I like to move into solo and ensemble repertoire to develop lyricism and expression. For adults, I find out what the students are interested in, and direct my instruction accordingly to keep the lessons engaging and fun regardless of ability level. I have rigorous practice routines for all ability and commitment levels. I always encourage my students to find opportunities to play and to be patrons of their local live music scene as they both provide priceless developmental experiences.
First I like to get a snap shot of the student's goals and sources of inspiration, once I figure that out I can tailor my instruction around their wants and needs. I see myself as an accountability partner with my students and so I help my students set goals for their progress, celebrate their successes, and evaluate the shortfalls. I encourage loved ones to be a supportive and active part of the process as that encouragement can fuel a student's desire to grow. I truly enjoy seeing students progress, there aren't many things more rewarding, but I selfishly know that I develop so much more as a musician with each one I work with.
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