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Master's Degree in Performance - Germany, Master's Degree in Composition - USA, private study with Lee Konitz and sound production study with Dave Liebman (1998-2000). Banff Workshop full scholarship 1999 with Kenny Werner (Efortless Mastery), Dave Holland and Joe Lovano. teaching experience since 1990, including college and university students. Active performer and composer in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey, bandleader. Have been working with Mal Wladron, Keith Copeland, Alvin Queen, Vishnu Wood, Arturo O'Farrill, Roberta Piket, Billy Mintz, Cameron Brown, Putter Smith, Mark Ferber, Cameron Brown, Russ Lossing, Mala Waldron, Bertha Hope. Festivals in Germany, Israel, Italy, Slovenia, Russia, United States. Workshops at the Berkshire Academy (MA), Red Barn Music School (MA), Extraordinary Ladies of Jazz (NY), University Of Massachusetts Amherst Guest Artist residency, National Endowment for the Arts Panelist, Chamber Music America Grantee.
"Outstanding Performance Award" University of Massachusetts Amherst Jazz In July 1994
Leipziger Jazz Newcomer Competition Winning Prize, Leipzig, Germany, 2000
Top 10 New Jazz Albums 2014 - Feathery (Thirteenth Note Records, 2014)
National Endowment for the Arts panelist 2015
Top 50 New Jazz Albums 2017 (Heart Knows, Fresh Sound New Talent, 2017)
Top 50 New Jazz Albums 2021 (Rose Of Lifta, Fresh Sound Records, 2021)
Chamber Music America Grantee (composer's commission) 2022
I love teaching and in my 30-years-teaching experience I have had many students of various cultural backgrounds, European, Jewish, American. I am primarily an active performing musician and composer, bandleader and arranger, therefore I can help students of all levels, from very beginner to very advanced. My goal is to give a student enough foundation to have fun playing music and enjoy the sounds. I also teach reading music and music theory. I am a member of Chamber Music America, New Music USA, International Association of Jazz Educators. My teaching materials have been published in Down Beat and my albums are being released on Fresh Sound Records (Spain). Reviews of my albums and interviews with me were published in Down Beat, Jazz Journal (UK), Morning Star (UK), France Musique (France), Jazz Podium (Germany), Canadian Audiophile, All About Jazz, New York City Jazz Record.
I started teaching jazz, general music and woodwinds at the Rubin Academy of Music in Israel, in 1990. Since then, I have been teaching privately, in private schools and colleges, giving masterclasses and clinics in Germany, Holland, Russia, Canada, Israel, United States. My teaching approach is highly individual and I help a student according to his individuality and needs. Thus, I have been teaching saxophone, flute, clarinet, piano, recorder, voice (popular, classical, church music), music theory, music notation, jazz theory., harmony and improvisation, etc. My youngest student has been so far 4 years old and my oldest - 75 years old. I have worked with total beginners, starting with introduction to music and music literacy - as well as with college-level students who aspire to become professionals, and with dedicated amateurs, who have a "day job" or are retired and wish to enjoy music in their lives, playing themselves and with friends.
In my lessons I use my own materials that I have composed and compiled in the course of 32 years, as well as books that I found in Europe and later in the United States. There are some American educational series that I also like to use. Sometimes my students as me to work on their school band music, in this case we are using the band method books. I am always happy to work with very beginners to very advanced and professional. As a teacher, I am learning from my students as well - each person is a unique journey in the world of music and each person teaches me something about communication, understanding, motivation, time-managing during lessons and in individual practice. My main objective is to make the lessons a joy, a positive, motivating experience, to boost self-confidence and provide enjoyment, fun. I teach different people differently, using my background in psychology of learning, understanding individual needs. Every person learns differently, and I try to establish good communication first, so the student has a general feeling of comfort, positive mood, an uplifting lesson experience.
I am a positive, friendly, smiling person and I want my students to first of all feel good about coming to lessons and being with me. I am always flexible about the necessity of practicing and preparing homework, because many students do not have enough time to dedicate to practicing and I totally understand that. There is a balance to be achieved between a student's feeling of having progress and his/her lack of time to work on playing the instrument of his/her choice. Together with the student, we have to create a non-pressure, stress-free, enjoyable atmosphere that motivates the student to view music and instrument-playing as a means to happiness and relaxation. That is why I like to play together with my students during the lessons, even if we play the same thing together, like tunes or exercises. Playing together is a great teaching tool and it brings the students an invaluable experience of playing with others, which many people today don't have otherwise. It also relieves people from the pressure of "being on top" with their performance. I teach that "mistakes" are OK - and I also teach them how to relax themselves to become stress-free when playing.
Lena is a great teacher and I have been improving my skills a lot thanks to her teaching and wise advise. I started playing the saxophone as a beginner with Lena and she thought me invaluable skills to shape my sound as well as how to improvise. I have always felt stimulated and encouraged in my learning and I can tell what she taught me is a baggage that I will carry with me for ever. I feel very grateful to have had Lena as one of my first teachers and saxophone mentor and I would recommend her as a teacher to anyone that wants to learn how to enjoy music as an art in itself as opposed to a discipline !
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