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BS, Brigham Young University, Sociology
I am a passionate performer and teacher of music! I have been singing and playing the piano since I was 9 years old and i have performed in musical theater throughout my community for 20 years. In college I had the privilege of traveling throughout the United States with Brigham Young University's Mountain Strings band as the pianist and supporting vocalist. Since then I have participated in music and theatre throughout my community. I absolutely believe in the power that music has to lift and inspire, and I seek to instill those feelings in those I teach.
As a teacher, I have been fortunate to teach students ages 4-65 from all backgrounds and skill levels. I began teaching private voice and piano lessons at a music studio while I was in high school. That is where my love of teaching was born and I have made teaching a priority in my life ever since. I have also been fortunate to teach internationally. I spent time teaching English in Uganda, music in India, and have taught ESL in the United States. Most recently I have been teaching private lessons to students in their homes, online, and in my home. These experiences have given me a well rounded view of how to approach different students and any challenges they may face while learning an instrument.
For my piano students, I typically start beginners with the Primer Level Faber books. I love how this series guides the lessons but also leaves room for creativity and exploration. I feel that this discovery element of music is extremely important. As the student progresses, I give them the opportunity to choose songs that are interesting to them. I also introduce music from different genres in order to expose them to all kinds of music.
For piano students who have already been playing and/or taking lessons, I usually start from where they left off with their former teacher. I then gently guide them to the Faber books or continue using the series they're comfortable with, depending on the needs of the student. I find that consistency helps encourage the student, giving them confidence that they can be successful.
For my voice students, I usually start them with proper breathing techniques. Breathing gives life to singing, and learning the correct way to breathe takes much time and practice. I give them warm ups and drills to practice at home to improve their breathing and other techniques. I will either let the student choose what songs they would like to work on or give them suggestions, depending on their preferences and needs. As we go, I encourage and help the student apply what we learn in warm ups and technique exercises to how they sing the song we're currently working on.
Through experience, I have specialized in teaching to the students’ needs. I believe that students should be involved in setting goals and deciding what direction their lessons will take. I carefully plan my lessons, but am comfortable with completely altering the lesson plan in order to address what the student really needs that day. My philosophy is that the lesson is for the student and so it must be meaningful to them. If I can get a student to feel excited and motivated from what they’re learning, I consider the lesson to be a success. I am passionate about helping students feel confident in what they’re learning. My goal is to find the right balance of work and enjoyment in their studies. I love to give students challenging work but I also love to encourage them by celebrating their triumphs along the way. The most important aspect of teaching, for me, is making sure the student feels connected to what they’re learning.
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