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BM, Montclair State University, Trombone Performance
2007 - Performed with legendary street trumpeter Reginald Conyers. Sparked my lifelong love of street performance.
2007-2010 - Montclair State University John J. Cali Music Scholarship. Got some money.
2009 - Honorable Mention, Debrecen Brass Competition, Hungary. Got my musical butt kicked by every Hungarian trombonist, yet they were still kind enough to give me this award.
2010 - Performed with the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall. Nothing funny to say about that; it was awesome.
2011 - Performed with New Mexican Latin Sensation Sparx. First experience being blinded by stage lighting.
The three most moving musical experience of my life: 3) Watching my teacher perform a solo at Bar Harbor Brass Week 2) Performing "Summertime" on solo trombone with my jazz teacher and mentor at music camp 1) Creating improvisational music with hands, feet, and voice with fellow campers late at night at music camp. There are many, many more than this, and I have to say that most of them happen at music camp, where passionate teachers and enthusiastic students come together. While during the rest of the year I perform with many bands and orchestras, compose and arrange in several genres, and spearhead my own musical projects, it is from this place that I draw inspiration.
I started teaching privately in 2006, at a summer camp when I was 19. I had no idea what I was doing, because I had assumed that anyone who plays an instrument can teach that instrument. I've learned that this isn't true. Over several long summers of teaching at French Woods, I began to figure out what students needed in order to excel. For the past five years I've taught privately and in groups, in New Jersey, Albuquerque, Boston, and also at the summer camp I grew up at as a high school student, Friends Music Camp. The Science and Art of teaching I have yet to master, but know that I'm making significant progress towards this end (see my teaching method).
Much of my teaching happens apart from the student. The audio of each lesson is recorded, and then carefully analyzed by me at home to reflect upon aspects of the lesson such as what went well, what needs improvement, which of my suggestions worked, and which did not. I start all lessons where the student is, and often customize learning material to fit their specific needs. My lesson plan for each lesson is based on the previous one, but I generally employ a balance of technical practice and musical interpretation.
I vary my teaching style according to my students' levels. Novice students will receive more praise and encouragement, while more advance students will rarely get away with careless mistakes. I try to figure out what motivates kids to practice, and then give them lots of that. For both, attainable goals over short-term and long-term periods help keep progress coming.
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