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BA, Evergreen State College, Music MFA, Mills College, Musical Performance with an emphasis on Improvisation MA, Mills College, Musical Composition
2014 - Margaret Lyon Music Student Prize
2014- Graduate Teaching Assistanship
I'm a multi-instrumentalist, improvisor, composer and educator who takes great joy in teaching and sharing music with people of all ages. I've been deeply fortunate to have studied closely with multiple master musicians of various traditions. Perhaps the teacher who has had the deepest impact on my teaching methods is W.A. Mathieu, former arranger and bandmember of the Duke Ellington and Stan Kenton orchestras. I studied with Mathieu for three years. I've performed up and down the west coast and am an active player in the Bay Area music scene.
I have been teaching privately since undergraduate college days. In addition to private lessons on guitar and piano, I have facilitated group workshops, directed ensembles, and tutored reading comprehension in some Oakland public schools. It's a profound joy to see young children have their first musical experiences as well as to see the fire of music be rekindled in those who have put an instrument down and have decided to pick it up once again. I consider it a privilege and blessing to be able to teach music.
I tailor each lesson to the unique self and stage of musical development of the student and actively create custom lesson plans and materials to best suit their progress and musical curiousities. Improvisation and rhythm games, music theory essentials, and instrumental basics are core components of my teaching practice.
Flowing between the presentation of new information and the actual active playing music is very important to the way I conduct lessons. Especially for the young, I place much more emphasis on facilitating musical experiences rather than the integration of musical nomenclature and conceptualization. When we learn to speak, our ears guide us first, and we imitate. Writing and reading comes later. I've found that this pertains to music as well, if not even moreso.
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