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Bachelor of Music, Baldwin Wallace University (1978)
Teaching Certificate, Music K-12, Cleveland State University (1993)
I grew up in the Cleveland area and learned to play trumpet in my school music program starting in the fifth grade, which is typical of my students. I went on to earn a bachelor of music degree from Baldwin Wallace University in 1978. I've also earned a teaching certificate for music K-12, through Cleveland State University in 1993. I have performed frequently in northeast Ohio and have toured the United States, Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. My performing experience includes solo and chamber music, symphony orchestra and concert band, as well as musical theater, opera, jazz and dance bands.
I started teaching about fifty years ago including private instruction as well as coaching and conducting bands, orchestras and chamber groups. I have become a better teacher with age since I have picked-up procedures and strategies which have proved effective in encouraging my students to make music. I have also found that young people relate very well to me and feel comfortable in their lessons. Children receive a lot of negative messages today causing some to lack confidence. I love to see my students acquire music skills which can support their egos and help them find where they fit in their social groups.
Reading music is emphasized in school ensembles, yet some students are reluctant to read music. I can accommodate students who'd rather learn exclusively by the aural tradition. When my student is eager to read I like to start with the Walter Beeler Method Book One. I supplement it with duets. Some students can work from the Rubank Supplementary Studies along with the Walter Beeler. Afterwards the Edwards-Hovey Method Book Two is very nice. When the student masters these the Arban Method usually takes them through high school. I like to use duets from Miniature Classics and Selected Duets published by Rubank. The Hal Leonard collections of jazz standards are also very good duets. I like to transcribe and arrange songs for lessons that are popular with my students. We can also work on improvising with backing tracks.
Music is intrinsically fun and I feel it's important for my students to have fun while they are learning. Children are intelligent and eager to learn especially when they are encouraged with positive reinforcement. I put a positive spin on everything that happens in their lesson which encourages them to interact with me and develop their musicianship. I tailor lessons to my student's needs and desires giving them challenges without overwhelming them. In this safe atmosphere I have seen many students develop a high degree of self-esteem and love of music making.
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