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BA, High Point University (pending), Music Performance
2005-USMC Semper Fedelis music award
2004-05-Drum line section leader (T.W. Andrews high school)
2005-06-Member of the "Cold Steel" drumline (snare drum) at North Carolina A&T State University
For me, music is one of the most important parts of my life, and I do my very best to display that love of music through the world of percussion. Anything from marching percussion, classical, Jazz and even Gospel music, the world of percussion as a whole is what I am all about as both a performer and an educator.
My teaching experience goes back to the 12th grade, when I was the section leader of my high school marching band's percussion section. Although it was my first time ever teaching someone, I almost immediately developed a teaching strategy; I simply taught and guided that student exactly the way I would have wanted to be taught myself, with the uttemost care and attention to their individual needs as a percussion student, coupled with the tools to push them far past what they ever imagined they could achieve in music. From there, I began teaching as the percussion instructor at the same school during the beginning of my freshman year of college, lasting for the next 7 years after that. I'd also like to add that one of my former students from the same school is now the percussion instructor there. During my 7-year tenure there, I also taught as percussion instructor at many other high schools, middle schools and even a music conservatory, which was definitely the highlight of my teaching career so far.
From beginner to advanced, I offer the same level of quality and musical diversity for everyone, while making the necessary accomodations for each individual student. From the very beginning of our lessons, I constantly immerse the student in a myriad of musical styles as it relates to percussion and rhythm in general. Just as a physical trainer uses the method of muscle confusion in the client's workout, I try to "shock" the brain by introducing a number of different styles and techniques. The 2 main reasons for this is that the student develops an extensive musical/rhythmic palet early on and it also ensures that our lessons are always interesting.
As far as my teaching style is concerned, I strongly believe in teaching one "how to fish," as opposed to just letting them eat for a day. I purposely introduce material and techniques that are outside of the student's playing ability early on, so as to push them exponentially past whatever they originally "thought" they could do. To some, this pedagogical approach may seem a little extreme, but in my 10+ years of teaching, I've found that every student that has decided to stick with this style has found themselves playing some of the very styles and techniques that they never thought possible before. As a musical educator, I firmly believe in simultaneously ecouraging my students as a push them far past whatever limits they may have had at the beginning. While doing this, I've also realized that each student eventually reaches an "ah ha" moment in their time of learning with me. This happens when the student begins to come into his/her own "musical identity." As crazy as it may sound, I never teach my student how to play, look like or to sound like "me" as I'm teaching them. Instead, I see myself more so serving as one to unlock the potential and musical genius that already lies within each student.
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