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BM, SUNY Purchase, Studio Composition
2014-2018- SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music Merit Scholarship
I am a guitarist, singer songwriter and composer, who loves working with students to help them develop a personal and creative playing and writing style. I place emphasis on learning through creating original compositions and improvisations. I think its extremely rewarding to be encouraged to put your own voice in to your music, as well as learn from other peoples ideas. I graduated from the SUNY Purchase Music Conservatory where I majored in Studio Composition. It was there that I worked with amazing professors and peers to hone my performance, writing, and theoretical skills. I currently enjoy performing around NYC and I'm releasing an album October 19th with Funnybone Records.
I have been teaching students since my Sophomore year of high school. I began as a volunteer at Songcatchers in New Rochelle, where I taught students of varied ages and levels of experience. When I began college I took on students my own age, both beginners and advanced. One of my favorite parts of teaching is seeing a student become comfortable enough with the guitar to be able to express themselves. I teach students the tools they need to develop their own ideas, and I help them think about what they wrote and why it works or doesn't. I think its a gift to be able to use music as a means of expressing yourself, and I find it so rewarding passing that gift on to others.
For students who have no experience, I start with Alfred’s Kid’s Guitar Course 1. I want my students to learn the essentials such as basic reading skills, beginner chords, and basic theory. For my students that have this foundation built, I teach using the Major Method. This method was created by my teacher, Rolf Sturm, who insists that it’s the fastest and easiest way to learn the entire neck of the guitar. The student begins by learning all seven shapes of the major scale covering the neck. From there, all other scales can be related back to the major shapes, making it easy to remember. I have my students improvise using the scales they’ve memorized, which is a fun and helpful way to develop their ear and knowledge of the neck. I also teach students chords which allow them to “comp” or accompany someone else improvising.
I find it really rewarding to see a student find a passion for music. Its my main goal and priority to make sure that my students are happy learning the guitar instead of it feeling like a chore. In order to keep the lesson fun and productive I split the lesson up so that half the time we are going over the scales and chords, and the other half we are playing and improvising using what we went over. Having my students be creative is a great way for them to stay interested and enjoy themselves.
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