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BA, Eastern Kentucky University, Philosophy
Studied World percussion, Orchestral, and Marching percussion under Dr. Jason Koontz Member of Eastern Kentucky University's Percussion Program Studied Marching Percussion under Zach Schlicher (Boston Crusaders, Carolina Crown) and Nick Angelis (SCV)
2017- Snare Drum at Tates Creek Indoor Percussion (World class independent group)
2017- Most Improved Performer, Tates Creek Indoor
2014- Top Percussionist Eastern Kentucky University
2014- Eastern Kentucky Percussion music scholarship
The one thing I enjoy more than playing music is helping others learn and grow in their craft. I started playing guitar back in 2008 while I was living in Guam. While I was there I devoted my entire life to learning how to play guitar in all its various modes. I spent years focused on growing as a guitar player and learning to push myself to continuously improve.
During that time, I began to fall in love with percussion. I studied percussion under Dr. Koontz at Eastern Kentucky University, where I learned to play all sorts of different styles ranging from classical to global. I performed with Eastern Kentucky University's percussion ensemble on various instruments ranging from vibes to marimba, concert snare, and even pan. Soon after, I auditioned for a World Class Indoor Percussion ensemble in Lexington, Kentucky, where I grew exponentially under the tutelage of world-famous instructors such as Nick Angelis and Zach Schlicher. My professionally trained percussion chops have even bled into my guitar playing, and my experience with both Eastern Kentucky University's percussion ensemble and Tate's Creek Indoor Ensemble have caused my guitar playing to mature and grow even further.
In college I began teaching drumlines over the summer for various high school programs. During that time is when I really began to fall in love with the teaching process and watching my students improve and grow as musicians. Shortly after I also began doing private guitar, rudimental percussion, and drum set lessons. I believe I really resonate with my students because although I got such a late start into music, through practice and hard work I was still able to be the musician I wanted to be. In my experience, this can be very encouraging and inspirational for students, especially when they've been frustrated with their progress or are worried because they don't believe they can play at the level they want. Over the past 4 years of teaching students, I believe my greatest strength is inspiring students to be the best they can, and learning to disregard what others may think, because music is all about your enjoyment!
Depending on my student's familiarity with their instrument, my approach to their lessons will differ accordingly. I thoroughly believe in teaching each student with a unique approach, one that caters both to their learning style and how comfortable they are playing in front of others. As a very shy child growing up, it was very difficult for me to play (and especially make mistakes) in front of my peers. I like to keep this in mind for my especially shy students. However, for those that are a little more outgoing, I first assess what level their at, and begin from there. For beginner students, I am a firm believe in mastering fundamentals but making them fun at the same time. There's no need for fundamentals to be monotonous and boring! For more experienced students, I like to find out what their goal is and create a development plan for them according to their individual goals.
My approach to teaching is to make sure my students have fun while they're learning and growing. It's important for students to learn to have fun while playing the same scale or rudiment over and over, and I think this is entirely possible! I also think it's important for students to see just exactly what their hard work is striving them toward. Setting up realistic goals for them and then helping them achieve them is pertinent to the process.
In addition, I like to incorporate my student's interests into their goals. For instance, for my guitar students, I like to set a realistic goal (a song they want to be able to play) and tailor my lessons towards my student being able to play that, while at the same time learning their fundamentals, or whatever else is in their lesson plan for that session. I find this to be both rewarding and inspiring. For newer students, they begin to see the value in the fundamentals, and they look forward to their next lesson almost as much as I!
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