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2017 - 3rd Place Reno Jazz Festival (Vocal Jazz Ensemble)
2014 - Most Outstanding Musician (Hillsdale High School)
I am a patient, and motivated instructor that is passionate about teaching music and sharing the love of music to those willing to learn. I have been singing since I was 7 and I have been performing since I was 12. I have been playing guitar for 7 years, piano for 4 years, and have been producing music for 3 years. I have played gigs all over the Bay Area, from corporate events to small venues. At Diablo Valley College, I studied all the Music Theory courses and have an Associate's Degree for Music Transfer. I am mainly a vocalist, putting my focuses into the Chamber Music and Vocal Jazz Ensembles at DVC. Outside of music academia, I am a singer-songwriter at heart, writing my own music that is within the Pop, R&B/Soul, Rap & Hip-Hop genres. As an avid fan of music, as well as being able to participate in it, I feel that music has a space in almost all aspects of life, whether for joy or as a career. Mainly the point I want to get across with all my instruction is to incite a passion for music.
My formal teaching experience is very limited relative to other instructors my age, but in the time I have spent being in the various choir ensembles from over the years, I have learned how to teach. In most of these ensembles, I would be given a leadership role, usually teaching a group of my choosing, pieces I have arranged/composed. I feel this is a good testimonial towards my teaching experience as being able to balance teaching my peers pieces I have arranged and trying to deal with the egos of the other students regarding myself being put in charge, is a challenge in itself. Leading these rehearsals has shown me how far patience goes, as well as being able to listen to the worries of my peers and being able to execute as a musician to show credibility. In most of these situations, I do my best to incorporate a level of fun so the attention can be kept throughout. I also try to incorporate building good habits in the rehearsal process, so that it will show in the performance. I recognize that teaching college students and those younger or older require a different set of skills, I feel the general adversity that is present, prepared me to be able to teach students of any age.
Whether it be a child, a teenager or adult, I focus on trying to build good habits and good fundamentals. For example, I will focus on posture, technique and building the ear so that the student will be able to carry that throughout their musical career. I will usually introduce an exercise that emphasizes these fundamentals and will try to innovate in a fun way so as to keep the student engaged. Usually, I will try to guide the student into being creative about how they practice so that it becomes personalized and that they have a stake in their own development. After a warm up, I will teach a little bit of music theory so as to make a connection from the technical mindset to execution. From then on, I will usually introduce a piece that involves what I talk about in the theory portion. I will go over ways to practice said piece, the techniques involved and what the music itself means. I try to put a focus on the holistic view of the music as well as the technical.
The most important aspect for me as a teacher, is being able to pinpoint the pace at which my student learns. From there, I will be able to better prepare the curriculum that I will personalize for them. I will ask what they want out of the instruction, and then I will talk about what it will take to get there. I feel it is important for the student himself/herself to understand what they want their goal to be, because their determination will be the driving factor in their development. During moments of adversity for my student, I do my best to be supportive and encouraging so the student will not be defeated. I will tell my student to stop, look at it from another perspective and try again. Music is a difficult thing, and the best attitude to have about it, is being able to pick yourself back up after a defeat. In moments where I feel the student is doing well in their development, I try to be very strategic in regards to positive reinforcement in that, it is their resilience and understanding that got them there rather than talent. By learning more of how the student is when facing adversity or doing well, I take note in how they react so I can change the way I instruct them accordingly.
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