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BA (Music), Oakland University, Piano and Viola Performance PBC, Wayne State University, Orchestral Studies (Viola) MM, Bowling Green State University, Cello Performance
2014 - Solo Concerto Performance with Bowling Green Early Music Ensemble 2013 - Recipient of full-tuition merit scholarship with assistantship and placement as cellist in the Bowling Green State University Graduate String Quartet 2010 - Recipient of full-tuition merit scholarship with assistantship 2007 - Chosen as viola mentor for Detroit Civic Ensembles 2005 - Recipient of Oakland University MaTilDa Award for Chamber Music
I am a versatile multi-instrumentalist who loves to share the joys of music with students of all backgrounds, ages, and levels of experience. My career as a professional performing musician started even before I began my collegiate studies, as I began professional piano accompanying services while still in high school, and played in my first community orchestra before beginning my undergraduate studies. Throughout the last 17 years, I earned a bachelor's and two graduate degrees in instrumental performance, first focusing on viola and piano, and later, cello. I am a seasoned orchestral musician, having played in the violin, viola, and cello sections well over two dozen symphony orchestras in four different states. I have been actively teaching violin, viola, cello, and piano since 2002. In addition to classical music, I am very passionate about the traditional music of East Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Celtic lands, and have performed music from many global traditions as both a soloist and a member of various bands and ensembles.
I first began teaching as an undergraduate college student in 2002. One of my childhood piano teachers invited me to teach violin, viola, and cello in her studio of primarily piano students. A short time later, after being hired as an accompanist at a local string studio, I was hired as a string teacher within the studio, where I taught for several years. Over the next fifteen years, my teaching continued in these two settings: studio teaching, as well as private lessons given in my home or the home of my students.
Piano students: For younger beginners, I like to use the Alfred series. These are the books that I grew up on and I have used them in my own teaching. I like their use of multiple companion books throughout each and every level. For adult beginners, I like to use Alfred's All-In-One adult books, as they feature all of the key elements of the series for younger beginners, simply geared to a more mature learner. With advancing students of any age, I start to slowly introduce scale and etude books, as well as solo repertoire by major composers, not found in their method books. String students: For both younger and adult beginners, I like to use a combination of the Suzuki books and the Essential Elements series. I do not teach the Suzuki method, but use the books for their staple and universally well-known repertoire. Essential Elements books are packed with a huge quantity of exercises and pieces, the next incrementally more difficult than the last. I find that the combination of these two books makes for a well-balanced 'diet' for beginning students. As students advance, I introduce scale books, etude books, and standalone repertoire by major composers, to supplement their two core books.
My teaching style is a balance of a casual and relaxed attitude, and an environment that nonetheless encourages excellence and achievement to the highest level possible. I like to establish a friendly and fun atmosphere where the student feels at ease, but always help my students set goals, and hold them to standards of excellence. I also recognize and value that importance of a student enjoying lessons, and that may sometimes mean that s/he wishes to learn and play music not covered by the books and materials we use for lessons; thus, I encourage students to share with me any such music they want to work on, and we then incorporate it into our lessons. I also love to expose students to musical ideas, styles, and concepts with which they may be unfamiliar, as well as sharing media with them (videos, recordings) of notable performances and performers of their chosen instrument.
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