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Bachelor Degree: The George Washington University
I am a mostly rock performing saxophonist based out of Bellevue, WA. I grew up and got most of my education in music here in Bellevue before attending, and subsequently graduating from, the George Washington University in 2018. Since then I have spent most of my time traveling up and down the east coast with the rock group Bencoolen. Although most of my formal training has been in jazz or classical music, this group has allowed me to vastly broaden my horizons and adapt certain tone qualities and other techniques to fit a more rock style.
The first few students I ever had were actually swimmers! My first teaching experience came as a swim instructor for people of all ages at a local club. Because of my work there I was able to convert a small number of those kids into saxophone students as well and the teaching itch began! For the most part these students were family friends, and very much beginners so my strategies revolved around basic practice routines, some tone development work and helping with parts for school band or the like. Since then I myself have progressed quite a bit in personal skill and can therefore cater to a more developed skillset depending on the experience level of my students. I am all about having fun with music, that's why I joined a rock band - and there's plenty of fun tricks you can do to sound massive on stage with a saxophone!
I am happy to curate lesson plans and materials to fit the student. If a student is truly a beginner I believe that starting with fundamentals such as simple major and minor scales is crucial before moving into any type of performance preparation. I believe it is important to incorporate students passions into practice as well, and as such I will encourage students to bring specific songs or works that they aim to learn. Often times this approach can lead to the discussion of certain advanced concepts or skills in a much more natural way than can be achieved through drill work!
Over the years I have truly been lucky to have music take me all sorts of places I had never imagined it could, and so I can only hope to help others in their journey as well. I for one have been able to maintain my fascination and love of music by setting specific learning goals, just slightly ahead of my skill level. Most of the time this turns me towards the greats of the past, as so many jazz musicians have done before. But as the times have changed and our access to resources grown, my adoption of more commonplace learning techniques has made an entrance into my daily practice routine. I encourage students to bring youtube examples of songs, tones, or anything they can thing of to a lesson for us to break down and learn from!
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