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Music has always been a part of my life in one way or another and I am someone who can pass on a positive experience to people of any age. I think positive reinforcement is so crucial for a student’s progress. Some of the highlights of my musical career, during college and after, have been my travel experiences with choirs. I traveled around the United States and to Canada with a women’s choir early in my career. I also traveled to the Far East (Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and the Philippines) early on, with the same choir. More recently, I traveled to China as a choir member and a soloist, while participating in a cultural exchange between the College of Lake County and X’ian University.
Becoming a music teacher has been the highlight of my life. I worked in the public schools as a general music teacher for 10 years and have branched out to teaching private voice and beginning piano. I enjoy teaching one on one with a student, because it allows me to focus in on how each student learns. I think it is important to answer questions thoughtfully, so that the student walks away from any lesson with an understanding of the material and they may be able to apply it independently in the future. No matter the age of the student, I take on all ages, I believe in meeting the student where they are in their understanding of the subject. I think it is good to teach a combination of styles, such as classical and contemporary for piano, to develop a well-rounded student. When teaching voice I listen to what the student is interested in and plan the lessons around their interests, while incorporating the foundations of vocal training that I believe are important.
I start with the James Bastien method books with beginning piano students. I supplement the lessons with material from Faber & Faber, A Dozen a Day and other resources for solo repertoire. For voice students, I believe breathing and vocal exercises are the foundation for any successful singer. I choose exercises from my own training and other resources. Lessons should be fun for all students, so I listen to what they want and add what I know they need.
I love to see the smile on the face of a student who has mastered an exercise or a song! Whatever level they have achieved, this is so important to me. I want to see them succeed step by step in their own way. During each lesson, there are many victories to acknowledge and I want to make sure that they understand each concept so that the building blocks form a firm foundation in their progress. Since each student is unique, I try to tap into how they learn so that they have a successful experience during each lesson.
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