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BM, Western Connecticut State University, Jazz Saxophone Performance 2017
MM, SUNY Purchase College, Jazz Studies 2020
2016- James Furman Concerto Competition Winner (Jazz Chamber Group) 2017- James Furman Concerto Competition Winner (Jazz Chamber Group)
I am a passionate saxophonist and instructor looking forward to sharing my enthusiasm for the saxophone and music with students. My studies began in high school and eventually led me to Gettysburg College, then Western Connecticut State university, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Saxophone Performance. While in college, I was fortunate enough to study with world renowned saxophonists such as Jimmy Greene, Dave Noland, and Andrew Beals. I also attended and worked at Litchfield Jazz Camp where I was able to study with Kris Allen, Mike DiRubbo, Paul Bollenback, and Russ Johnson. I have also performed with musicians such as Joe Lovano, Gerald Clayton, Orrin Evans, and Stephon Harris while I was an undergraduate, and now I lead my own groups and projects throughout the Tri-State Area.
My teaching experience comes from spending a lot of time as a student throughout my educational career and analyzing the approaches that helped me out when I was younger. In college I would often sub for a friend of mine at a local music studio which helped me deal with a variety of different students of varying ages and backgrounds, as well as a few students of my own. I've found that setting small and easily achievable goals in combination with consistent practice is very effective. I also like to expose students to a variety of different styles of music, because no two students learn the same way.
For younger students/beginners, I am a huge advocate of the Rubank Elementary Method for Saxophone, since it covers a lot of the basic materials such as note values, scales, and arpeggios. For students who have progressed past this stage, I introduce "The Art of Saxophone Playing" by Larry Teal which introduces some more advanced rhythmic and articulation concepts.
For saxophone students of all levels I strongly recommend Sigurd Rascher's "Top Tones for Saxophone" because it develops a students understanding of how to develop a strong sound and knowledge of the overtone series. I always try to find out what the students are interested in learning as well, and tailor some aspects of the lesson towards them. If a student is advanced and interesting in learning jazz, I'll introduce some ear training and harmony as well as jazz etudes and transcribing solos by ear and breaking them down.
A passionate student is a happy student, so I take special care to ensure that each student develops at their own pace. I like to encourage students to set goals for themselves to get an idea of where they think they are musically, and help them to tailor these goals into small and accomplish tasks. I also think it is extremely important to praise students for working on their material, as this helps encourage them to try even harder and push their boundaries. I also like to determine how a student best learns, such as if they learn by watching or doing, and tailor sessions that way.
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