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MME, The University of Southern Mississippi, Percussion
2004-Present Vic Firth Education Team
2013 Featured Clinician Louisiana State Percussion Arts Society Convention
2009 Festured Clinician Mississippi State Percussion Arts Society Convention
I am a dedicated and inspiring instructor from the New Orleans/South Mississippi area. In addition to absorbing the great feel and culture of New Orleans and its music, I studied with many great drum set artists including the legendary Alan Dawson (3 years), Henrique De Almeida (Berklee Staff), Dave DiCenso (Berklee Staff), and Ricky Sebastian (Drummers Collective). I am a professional touring drummer who works with Grammy Artist Chris Thomas King, New Orleans Brass Band Bonerama, Mississippi Blues Ambassador Vasti Jackson, and the Atlanta-based Lefty Williams Band. In addition to touring the United States, I have recently been to Norway, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and Thailand. In 2010-2012, while managing a busy touring schedule, I completed my Masters in Music Education studying with Dr. John Wooton (vibraphone/marimba) and maintaining a drum set teaching studio in the percussion department as a graduate assistant.
Music should be fun. Period! Whatever the student's age or background, I will help them achieve their goals and have a great time in the process! I have been teaching (private and institutions) and performing for over 20 years. My extensive touring and professional performing background offers students a real-world perspective and continually keeps students motivated and inspired. Recently I was Adjunct Professor of Percussion Studies at William Carey University where I managed private lessons for all percussion instruments and wrote and directed for the marching line. In 2010-2012 I was a graduate assistant at the University of Southern Mississippi where I taught private lessons and rehearsed the percussion ensembles and steel drum ensemble. In addition to my teaching practices, I have conducted many clinics in the southeast region and have been on the Vic Firth Education team since 2004. Teaching is a way of life for me and I love to see students light up with enthusiasm when they have surpassed their own expectations.
Beginner students of any age will be playing music with the band during the first lesson! Although my curriculum is deep-seated in good technique, I believe it is important for students to develop fluidity and expressiveness from the very beginning. I am an accomplished keyboard player and utilize this skill to accompany my drum set students while they play grooves and lesson exercises so they can understand how it all "goes together". Piano students will also learn basic rhythm comping skills and learn what it's like to play in a rhythm section while I accompany them on drum set. I have my lesson booklet available for purchase in which each student can design their own curriculum to meet their goals. I also recommend additional books for each student as they develop more specific interests and needs. Piano/keyboard students will learn all scales/ chord progressions, soloing ideas and work out of a fake book. If the student desires to stick to classical or is just beginning, we will choose a lesson program that best suits their needs.
My teaching studio is equipped with two drums sets and practice pads to accommodate marching or drum set students. I also have a full PA and two keyboards set up for piano students and accompanying purposes. Each student is given an assignment for the week (or specified time) and will then pass off this lesson assignment (barrier) before receiving a new lesson. Passing off not only includes demonstration of the lesson but also performing with me as I accompany them on the keyboards. Each student progresses differently, so each will be encouraged and assisted while demonstrating each lesson task.
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