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I began playing the clarinet at the age of 12. My primary clarinet teachers were Jack Fisher, William Holman, Thomas Ridenour, Carmine Campione, Brian Moorhead, and John Yeh. I earned my B.M. and B.S. degrees from the University of South Florida and my M.M. degree from DePaul University. I have performed, and still perform, with many orchestras throughout Florida including The Florida Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Opera, Sarasota Opera, Southwest Florida Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, Brevard Symphony, Space Coast Symphony, and the Walt Disney World Candlelight Orchestra. Currently, I am the principal clarinetist of the Villages Philharmonic Orchestra and a member of the Epcot Biergarten Oktoberfest Band.
I have taught private lessons for over 25 years. Many of my students received Superior ratings for their solos or ensembles, were selected for All-State / All-county bands in their counties, and have been selected as members of their county youth orchestra. I have also served as a public school music educator in Florida for 15 years at both the middle and high school level. During my time as a classroom teacher, my bands achieved numerous superior and competitive accolades. Currently, I am a Teaching Artist with Disney's Performing Arts Workshops. I love to watch a student's mind light up once a concept is mastered. My goal is for a student to have fun while learning and enjoy music making so it will be a part of their lives forever!
I like to divide lessons into four main parts which can be very flexible to accommodate a specific area of development. These four parts include clarinet fundamentals, rhythmic studies, scales studies, and musical selections. For a beginning student (2 or less years of experience), a typical lesson would included basic clarinet fundamentals (how to play the clarinet correctly), and appropriate rhythmic studies which will compliment selected music from the Standard of Excellence book series that interests the student. For the Intermediate level student (2-4 yrs of playing experience) the same lesson template as the beginning student is used with more advanced music / method books (Rose Etudes), selected solos / ensembles and appropriate scale studies. For the advanced student (4-6 years of experience), I like to introduce more advanced clarinet fundamentals / techniques, appropriate rhythmic studies, an advanced solo or ensemble selection for collegiate consideration, Rose or similar etudes and technical scale studies. For the collegiate level student, clarinet fundamentals are revisited for understanding when necessary, various etude books, solos / ensemble repertoire, and orchestral excerpts are introduced as appropriately needed. The goal for the collegiate level student is to prepare for auditions and the working musical field.
I like to remain fluid with respect to my style. I want to know what the student is trying to accomplish and then find the path that motivates them the best. Their unique path will be a plan with proven techniques using a developed system based upon my experience of success. During the lesson, I want every student to understand the why behind the request. It is my intention that every student leaves their lesson excited to play more and share their music making with anyone who will listen.
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