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Bachelor Degree: Michigan State University
Performed Live Violin Carnegie Hall on primetime tv, ABC, CBS, NBC age 15
Teacher's assistant at age 12, 25+ years of teaching experience in public schools & private lessons
Freelance professional violinist, violist, cellist, pianist, double bassist, conductor/director
Toured internationally w/several traveling ensembles, performed w/ HIlary Hahn, violinist virtuosa
Over 35 former students now professional music teachers & musicians, music majors, All State chairs
Hello! My Name is Ms. Katie, an enthusiastic teacher who loves working with students of all ages and abilities. I enjoy sharing the gift of music by inspiring students to achieve their goals. I have a bachelor's degree in music education from Michigan State University, studying classical and jazz, and am certified in Michigan and Georgia with two teaching licenses, prek-12 grade. I started teaching as a teacher's assistant at the age of 12, a great opportunity to shadow a great teacher/violinist and violist, Alesia Byrd Johnson. I had a wonderful opportunity to perform live in Carnegie Hall, New York City, on live television, primetime on ABC, CBS, and NBC networks at age 15! Performing internationally with touring groups as a teen and as an adult has brought me many joys, meeting great musicians, making beautiful music, and wonderful memories. In the past I have taught public school orchestra, band, and choir, in elementary, middle, and high school. Uniquely, I have helped on movie sets to make actors "look" like musicians. I do train stunt-doubles for the accuracy of the filmed scenes. I have played on albums for studio work and have composed my own music, and support improvisation. Up to date, I have over 35 former students who have graduated with a bachelor's and/or master's degree in music education and/or music performance, former students currently enrolled in a university as a music major, and high school students getting ready to audition for All- State Orchestra, Jazz, and Band divisions AND college entrance auditions for in and out of state universities and conservatories. All students are talented, my job is to help you develop your talents and help find opportunities for you to grow. Students contact me for auditions, anything from All-State, college audition prep, summer camp intensives, you name it. I love meeting new people, teaching music, performing music, and sharing music experiences. All ages and abilities are welcome. I can teach other instruments I have not check marked; I am relatively new to harp, guitar and trumpet. However, if you as a parent and/or adult student is "die hard" for a passionate and caring teacher on my lesser instruments I will study those instruments for you. Sometimes it is a gamble finding the right teacher for you and/or your child. Every person, young and adult deserves great love and support. We do not have to "do" anything to be worthy, or valued. If this resonates with you, please select me for a trial lesson. My goal is to foster a great passion for music and bring out your best in yourself!
My teaching experience started at age 12 with Alesia Byrd Johnson. I worked with toddlers and as they aged I would continue in their classes while adding the next group of children. Since then I have taught private lessons in homes, studios, private schools, and after graduating from Michigan State University- I taught public school orchestra, band, and choir from Prek-12 in Michigan and then Georgia. I also was in charge of helping students with their Individualized Education Plans, IEP's, in Georgia. Even if you want to learn or continue to learn non-classical styles, it is important to have a basis of classical music training (i.e. reading music, proper counting of rhythms, understanding of chord structures, symbols, music terms, music history). This framework will enhance a student's understanding of the music they are learning. I love students who are positive, eager to learn, and I like to engage my students with different types of music, solos, and exercises for technique. We can come up with a plan to help you define your goals, a practice plan to meet your needs, and I always encourage students to perform, enter auditions/competitions, and/or recitals, open mic nights, school ensembles, All State, Solo/Ensemble, out of school ensembles. Students will have many opportunities to perform, participate in workshops where we focus on certain techniques, certain types of music (i.e. fiddle, mariachi, jazz), learn improvisation, and meet guest artists. Each time you invest in your music education, you invest in yourself, self-love, self-care!
For beginner strings I use several method books (elementary and 6th students can come with prescribed method books from their public school teacher) such as Essential Elements, Orchestra Expressions, String Essentials. If parents would like to use solo books, I use Suzuki Method Books (not necessarily the method of only learning by ear) in conjunction with note reading workbooks. As they age I use other method books (violin, viola, cello. double bass) such as Wohlfahrt, Mazas, Kreutzer, Flesch, Schradieck, Dont, Bach Sonatas and Partitas, Rick Mooney's shifting and thump position book series, Klengel, Bach Cello Suites, Popper, PIatti, Smandl Method, Fischer, and of course as they advance any standard sonatas and concerti, such as Mozart 5 in AM, Mendelssohn in em, Hadyn Concerto in CM, anything from the Baroque, classical, and romantic era. For pianists, there are so many different method books, I recommend for beginners Faber Method Series for younger beginners, for adult beginners we can start with Alfred's All in One Method for Adult Beginners. I have used Alfred's Series, Piano Adventures, John Thompson's Series, Bastien Series, Playtime Piano Series (also Faber). For more intermediate students I would use books that are a collection of different types of baroque and classical pieces, and First Lessons In Bach, and for more advanced students solos and concerti from composers such as Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, LIszt, etc. We can always play modern music, Disney, Broadway show tunes, covers of movie scores, your favorite albums, piano renditions of radio music (i.e. from the 40's, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, to Rolling Stones, Radiohead, Billie Eilish, Adele, BTS, etc).
Always start where the student is, and take them from there. Always encourage and inspire students to be better than yesterday. Progress, no matter the amount, is progress. Take your own pace. If you have a specific deadline, for example a college audition, you will have to commit to practicing more than usual and we will create a plan of action. Also, I do write letters of recommendation. Celebrating daily practice to turn goals into accomplishments, I love seeing my students learn, harness their determination to do more, learn more, and I love seeing my students happy with their self-worth. I find out what inspires my students and tailor my instruction to meet their needs, listen to their beliefs and cultivate their talents into a skill set for life.
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