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Course Work: Lewis and Clark College Evans School of Music
Course Work: Columbia Basin College
I am a dedicated musician and teacher beginning my fifth year in Portland. My background is multi-disciplinary: on top of my musical coursework I hold degrees in poetry and language. I am a songwriter as well as an instrumentalist and composer. I believe creativity and originality are very valuable parts of musical expression that sometimes get overlooked! I have more than three years experience playing in local bands, and I am well-versed in the Portland music scene (though I continue to add to my knowledge!)
I have studied piano privately for almost 10 years. My first experience teaching piano was in high-school, when I taught after school lessons. Since then I've had the opportunity to absorb the teaching methods of many excellent instructors. My teaching approach continues to be influenced by these teachers. For example, I have found that my classical training has helped me approach all genres and styles of music. As I continue to teach and learn in different musical territories, I constantly return to the fundamentals.
I strongly believe in learning from my students, and that music lessons are about sharing, and exchanging ideas. I also understand that students at the beginning of their musical journey may need more of a guiding hand than others further along. For piano students I use the Neil A. Kjos Piano Library method books. I am flexible and I can tailor my lessons to what the student is interested in learning. For example, some students prefer to focus more on theory where others will benefit from a more hands-on, playing focused approach.
I am a relaxed and easy-going teacher. I am good at staying focused but also fun to be around! I know that learning to play an instrument carries a unique set of challenges for each person, and these can be frustrating. Because I've experienced these challenges myself, my primary goal is to be there for my students, guiding them through the difficult moments as well as the joyful. I care about the student's progress more than sticking to a pre-determined rule book. In other words, I find that teaching requires being inventive and developing new techniques to meet the particular needs of every student.
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