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2019 - Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Program finalist, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
2018 - Oberlin Sonny Rollins Scholarship Ensemble (inaugural year)
2017 - Oberlin Danenberg Honors recital, Oberlin Conservatory
2016 - Generations International Master-Class Finalist, Switzerland
2015 - Patrick S. Gilmore award: for most versatile musician
I am a very passionate and motivated instructor and performer, who's personal goal it is to spread the joy of music to anyone who wants to learn!
I am a graduate from Oberlin Conservatory, where I studied jazz percussion under legendary drummer Billy Hart. During my time at Oberlin, I was selected to be the drummer in the inaugural year of the "Sonny Rollins Jazz Ensemble." The Ensemble performed at some of the top venues in the country (i.e. Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Club, NYC), gave benefit concerts to raise money for social justice work, performed and provided instruction at underfunded public schools in the Ohio/New Jersey/ New York area.
Throughout my playing career, I have been very fortunate to tour and perform all around the world from places such as the Colosseum in Rome, Lincoln Center in New York, to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. I am happy to be a part of the Musika team! Let's learn together!
Teaching music and percussion lies at the core of my career path. I have extensive experience in building curriculum and instructing in drum set, world/classical percussion, mallet percussion, music theory, and music history. My teaching career began in high school in my hometown of Sacramento, California when students from inside and outside of my high school band program asked me for lessons. This was a turning point in my life as I fell in love with teaching. Throughout college and beyond, I have been blessed with many opportunities to teach and serve my community. I was the principal drum instructor to students ranging in age from 6 to 35 at the Avon School of Music, a non-profit organization whose goal is to inspire local youth to fall in love with playing music. I taught private lessons to students in the College, Conservatory, and area public schools, and organized local benefit concerts for social justice as well.
During my second year in the Conservatory, my private instructor Billy Hart invited me to collaborate on expanding his conservatory curriculum. Since then, I have transcribed full length albums, added written commentary about musical concepts, and taught components of his Drum Set course to other Oberlin students.
Every student comes at a different level, no matter what age they are. For younger students who are just beginning, I feel like it is my job to first and foremost get them excited about playing the drums. I find it to be difficult to teach anything if the student dimply does not want to be there because they do not have a good relationship with the instrument.
Once I feel the student is excited and ready, I usually introduce the "Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer." This book is important for building skills in reading music, ear training, and general funky rhythms! I have plethora of materials designed to better one's musical ability, and customize the curriculum to the students needs and wants.
I found it is my mission to give my students the keys to unlock any skill they so desire. That way, I am not training them for one specific thing, but training them to be able to do anything they put their minds to.
Every student comes with a different playing ability, learning style, and general goals for what they would like to accomplish. I remind myself of this everyday before I teach. I believe that individuality is one of the most important aspects of music, so I listen to what my student wants to learn and I try to create a somewhat customized curriculum that caters to their needs. I use my experience as a teacher and a learner to meet my students at their level, and empathize with what they may be feeling during my lessons. If they are frustrated, I work out the problem with them. If they are very eager to learn a specific exercise, then I stay out of their way but remain present to lend a guiding hand. My goal is to create not just great drummers, but great musicians, and when I see my students exude joy in playing, making mistakes, trying again, and exploring unknown territories, I know that I am making strides toward this goal.
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