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MA, California State - Dominguez Hills, Humanities/History, 2014
BM, University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, Music Education/Saxophone, 1982
Diploma, Hartford Union High School, College Prep, 1977
I am an experienced and passionate musician who teaches for the love of music, not for the love of competition. I hold degrees in music education and saxophone from the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater and humanities from California State at Dominguez Hills, as well as a number of year's study in saxophone and jazz improvisation and theory at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee. I have been published through Plank Road Publishing and Music K-8 Magazine and have performed at venues large and small, as well as theatres, festivals and clubs from the Midwest to Florida and ultimately to New Mexico. I am currently active in New Mexico as a performer, writer, studio musician, private teacher, and clinician.
I have been successfully teaching, both privately and in school settings, for over thirty years dating back to college, and my main focus has always been each student's individual relationship to music. Over the years it has become clear to me that every student is different and accordingly every student will find a different path to their love of music through an instrument or genre that they choose. To succeed as a musician, what is consistent is the necessity of routine and regular practice as well as an understanding of the theory at the core of their performance. On that point, I will always be absolute. The challenge, however, is finding the right balance between time as a musician and time, either as a kid or a busy adult, to move forward in a happy and healthy manner. To succeed as a teacher, it is my job to help students find and maintain that balance at their own level.
The methods through which I choose to teach vary based on each student and instrument. The individual student's age and purpose for study (what they want to get out of the lessons) also plays into any chosen methodology. What I am certain of and what I am consistant in teaching all of my students is a mastery of performance fundamentals as well as at least a rudimentary understanding of music theory. Music is progressive and any new skill set is entirely dependent upon those that preceded it. The methods I choose to use with any student, whether solo or ensemble, will be reflective of such a progressive approach.
A relationship with music is a very personal thing. To some it is all about the competition while to others it is simply the joy of playing for one's self. It is my job as a teacher to help each student discover what it is they want to get out of their experience with music and then help to nurture that experience. To treat music like a sport and assume that all students have the same expectations is a mistake that is made all too often with our schools and is, regrettably, all too often the main reason why so many kids choose not to continue with music. The joy of teaching privately comes from the discovery of each individual studen's relationship with music and helping it to grow. For me, a love of teaching was secondary, a natural consequence of first developing a love for music. By adapting pace, materials, and methods to the individual while still maintaining high standards and remaining positive, it is my goal to help the student find their own love of music via their own path.
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