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Bachelor Degree: Baylor University
Master Degree: Columbia College
I’m an enthusiastic and accepting teacher who enjoys building students’ confidence and lifelong enjoyment of music!
In 2014, I graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor’s in music composition with a focus on classical piano and voice, then moved to Chicago to get my Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from Columbia College in music composition for film and media. Writing music for orchestras was the most unforgettable part of my experience there!
I was a teaching artist, pianist, composer, and music director for award-winning non-profit Storycatchers Theatre for three years, as well as an accompanist for the Chicago Lyric Opera. I also taught on the music theory faculty at the Chicago High School for the Arts.
I had a wonderful opportunity to start teaching piano at the same place that I took piano throughout high school — KD Music & Arts, about 8 years ago. Since then, I’ve taught piano and voice to students a variety of ages—kids and adults!
I love arranging my younger students’ favorite songs that they hear on the radio so they can play them on the piano, sometimes even playing rhythm video games on my Nintendo 3DS to brush up on their music theory skills :)
I want my students to finish a lesson feeling like the possibilities that they have with music are endless. I always offer a healthy challenge, a dose of hard work with creative play goes a long way!
For my younger students, I often use a balance between classical, pop and jazz music. Faber’s Piano Adventures or any variety of the Faber books with a theory book is often used so that students will have a firm foundation on how music works. They can then apply that knowledge to any piece of music going forward. We skip around in the book as needed for every student’s different learning style. I will then add more performance pieces that they can be proud of performing at recitals, for their friends, etc.
I also play games with younger students like music reading flashcards, rhythm video games, and more.
For adults, I put a lot of importance on whatever the student wants out of the lesson. If they don’t want to learn to read music or want a less “formal” lesson, then that’s okay!
My goal is to hear that students don’t even realize how much they’re practicing throughout the week because they’re enjoying it so much! I always encourage 5 minutes a day to start—that time will usually increase naturally. I take time to get to know my students because I love to incorporate their other interests into the lessons to help keep them engaged. As a lifelong learner myself, I always encourage this quality because I believe that allowing yourself to be a beginner at something new all the time really fosters all-around success!
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