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BM, University of the Arts (in progress) Music Performance major Music Business minor
2017-Accompanied Ryan Tennis on semi-world tour (over 50 shows between Colombia, Argentina, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland.) 2015-Promising Artist Scholarship Award at University of the Arts 2012-Performed with Alan Baylock Orchestra at Arlington jazz fest and Chantily Jazz Fest
I began playing drums when I was 7. As a child I was in many rock/punk bands. I realized at a young age that I wanted to make a career out of music, so I began to study jazz. I went on to play in Alan Baylock's Orchestra at Shenandoah University, which won me a scholarship to University of the Arts. In 2016 I left the country for the first time on tour with Ryan Tennis, a local Philadelphia talent. In the past two years I have played almost 200 shows outside of the USA. Exploring other cultures has always been a principle of my musical approach. After exploring folkloric songs and traditions of many countries first hand, I have cultivated a unique respect and understanding for music.
I grew up in a music school that was founded and operated by my dad, Francis. Half of our house was a home and the other half was a music school known as Loudoun Music Instruction. When I turned 15, my dad decided I was old enough to be a teacher and began syphoning his drum students off to me. I quickly took many young drummers under my wing and had them playing FIRE drum solos at the Loudoun Music Instruction semi-annual recitals.
When I came to Uarts, I began volunteering at a church/music school known as West Kensington Music Ministries. I then Graduated to teaching with PAEP (Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership) where I still work part-time. I have given several drum/piano workshops to youth at Cleveland Heights Youth Club (Cleveland, OH) and THE ROCK youth center (Richmond, VA). While on tour in South America, I curated several music workshops for the youth. Too many times I have seen music save lives and I consider myself very lucky to be able to carry this torch through education. I want inspire all my students and see their passion for music manifest in confidence and happiness.
With drum students I stress playing along to music in headphones or with speakers as often as possible! It doesn't matter what kind of music - my tastes are irrelevant here. What is important is the the student learns what it feels like to lock in to what I call "the pocket". We can cultivate this through jamming with friends or playing with a metronome, but there's no comparison to playing along with prerecorded music. I usually gravitate towards songs the student prefers for this. The rest of the lesson would consist of marching rudiments - learning how to transform one simple rudiment into applicable drum beats and fills. Books I pull from are: Ted Reed's Syncopation, The Funky Primer, and Alfred's Beginner Drum Method.
I smile often and reflect that positivity onto the music. The amount of times I share laughs with my students mid-lesson are innumerable. The main goal for me is that the student affiliates music with positivity. When this corrolation is made, practice is fun and music lessons are the highlight of the week. This is achieved by setting goals and surpassing them. Musical progress reveals the ability to grow and adapt in life and that brings hope and confidence to the student. I never encourage practice through intimidation. Most importantly, I teach my students that their sense of worth should not be reflected in their skill level but in their progress made.
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