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Bachelor Degree: University of California
Acceptance to Berklee School of Music (2012, 2013)
Acceptance to California Institute of the Arts (2013)
Woodbridge High School Percussion Ensemble National Champions (2009, 2010)
My passion for music began when I studied classical piano at six years old. As a kid in church, I began to have a keen interest in the drums when watching the church praise band. It didn't take long for me to gravitate toward their kinetic and infectious energy as I was often found banging on the church drums after service. By the time I turned ten years old, I finally convinced my parents to get me drum lessons, and the rest, as they say, is history. In grade school, my commitment and knowledge in music continued to grow through my immersion in honors ensembles, wind ensembles, marching bands, jazz bands, local garage bands, and a percussion ensemble with two national titles (Woodbridge Percussion Ensemble). In the years following, I became an active musician in the San Diego/Southern California area performing in various styles and settings: jazz, rock, pop, hip-hop, Funk/Soul/R&B, Christian/praise music, Latin American (Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Caribbean), electronic/EDM, Broadway, marching, orchestral, and avant-garde. I currently reside and practice in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Teaching drums the past ten years has exposed me to over 100 students of all skill levels, beginner to advanced, and all ages. My passion for teaching goes well beyond the limits of music and toward the fulfillment of personal development and success of each student. This approach, directly influenced by my experience working with children with developmental disabilities, demands thoughtfulness, customizing a vision that best fits the needs and skill set of the individual. My ability to perform and teach a wide variety of musical styles, accompanied with my extensive experience working with children, gives me a unique ability to be a versatile, engaging instructor.
Over the past 10 years, I have developed a method of teaching that focuses heavily on fundamentals that are essential to any drummer regardless of whether they are beginner or advanced: Hand Technique, Reading, 4-way Drum Set Coordination, Time Keeping and Feel/Pocket, and Stylistic Development. I provide my private collection of PDF's and exercises to my students depending on what is being worked on. While I use books and exercises when teaching, you will never find me teaching out of books exclusively because I believe that books are only supplemental to teaching.
My teaching philosophy is student centered. I realize that every student is different in their physical or mental capabilities; that each student has different expectations with their relationship to music and with themselves; and that each student has their own strengths, insecurities, and pace of learning. Focusing on what makes each student different and unique is what guides how I teach each student. For example, I've had a handful of students with autism who had limited verbal capabilities. This limitation required me veer away from my typical curriculum which starts with a heavy focus on reading music. I realized that I could accomplish my goal of teaching a basic drum beat by utilizing their strengths - learning by ear, learning by visual example, and a deep love for drums.
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