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Silverlake Conservatory Of Music, 2000-2010 AA, Pasadena College, 2010-2012
Composer - VICE Media (2016-current) Composer - Generation Zapped (2018) Composer - Time To Chose (2017) Composer - The New Yorker Presents (Amazon Studios 2016) Composer - Chef's Table (Netflix 2015)
I am an accomplished film composer for Netflix, Vice, HBO and many films. I also make music for ads like Apple, l’Oreal, MasterCard and more! I focus on the student’s strengths and don’t force them to learn classical compositions. Although theory and site reading are very important, my students are here to learn how to fall in love with music and their instruments. As a conservatory student myself, I am grateful for the teachers who pushed me to have fun, learn songs, and allowed me to explore my creativity; this is the type of environment I bring to my students. In my classes we write our own songs/compositions together, learn songs by favorite artists and have lots of fun learning techniques and tricks of music making/playing. My main objective is to have students play for the rest of their lives.
I have been teaching music since I was 16 years old and I want to share the same experiences I had as a student. Many teachers won't admit it, but a student's musical future depends almost entirely on who is teaching them. If a teacher is fun to get along with and understands how the student communicates then this can ensure longevity in a student's playing career (even if the student only plays for fun). Music is an avant garde, yet practical way to explain and communicate the natural work around you, and for this reason I often find more gratification in teaching than I do working on the projects for big companies.
When teaching beginners, especially kids, I find it easiest to have them learn songs that they already enjoy. This often involves learning the chords within the songs and allows us to start focusing on a strum pattern as well. If this seems daunting, sometimes we learn only the abridged or quick version of a song. I always like to start entry level students with the intro to "Come As You Are" by Nirvana. Its a great jumping off point to work on finger placement, rhythm and picking; all the while we get to learn a song, too! My intermediate students have focus heavily on musicianship. With these types of students I often play (or jam) with them during lessons. This gives them the chance to start really listening and to use their skills to function as a musician. I find students who miss out on this can often play lots of songs but sometimes are missing solid rhythm and finger placement work. Playing with the student is an easy way to build their confidence, too. If they find themselves playing simultaneously with their instructor it will let them know that they are actually better than they even know and are well on their way to becoming the proficient players they sought out to be!
I am a passionate teacher who relies on POSITIVITY. Small progressions should never go unnoticed and should be praised, even if its just a quick hi-five. Even if the positivity is inflated, I find it does wonders for the student's psyche moving forward. I am also a high school basketball coach and instilling confidence in these young kids is what every teacher should focus on, regardless of what subject is being taught. This helps ensure that the student can thrive musically and in life. Also I do a lot of "visualizing" while teaching my students. Often, if they are struggling, I'll tell them to say something like, "I can do it" aloud a few times. I also have them close their eyes and really listen to me playing so they can visualize what it's like to play the chord or song before they even start to actually play. Most of my young students end up playing in bands, too - as a teacher I encourage creativity and free thought every step of the way.
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