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Woody Herman Jazz Award - Woodland High School (Piano)
Outstanding Musician - Greely Colorado Jazz Festival 2018 (Piano)
Edda Macordic Scholarship for Music Students Clark College (percussion, piano)
Penny Richards Scholarship (Clark College)
OSWALD Award for Outstanding Student in Music Department, Outstanding Choral and Ensemble Student
Music has been an integral part of my entire life. Growing up, I was raised to enjoy music and realize that however music plays a role in your life, it is certain to contribute to who you are as an individual and how you interact with the world around you. Coming from a family of musicians, I participated in many facets of the music world. I have been performing in choirs and community theater musicals my entire life and I have spent a good portion of my musically mature life as a solo singer, songwriter, pianist, guitarist, and ensemble member. Most recently during my music studies at Clark College in Vancouver, WA I have worked on composition projects supported by the college. Myself and a fellow composer won entry into a literary journal with our contemporary piece "Falling Down a Neverending Staircase" and later we were commissioned to write a multimedia piece to be performed live for a donor fundraiser sanctioned by the Clark College Foundation. I am now continuing my study of Music History and Literature at Western Washington University where I will continue to interact with the world through music and share it with my students.
I began teaching three years ago when I lived in the state of California. I grew my first studio over the course of a year with piano, guitar, and voice students of all ages. During the same time, I volunteered as the Assistant Music Director and accompanist for a youth choir and work as a musical theater educator for the company Bay Area Children’s theater. In 2017, I moved to Woodland, Washington and began to teach in the greater Portland area. For the past two years I have been working at Vancouver Music Academy and Woodland Music Academy as a staff piano, guitar, and voice teacher as well as the instructor for Try it Out!, which is a group introduction class to musical instruments. Through the academies I have periodically substituted classes for parents and children under the age of 5 (Music4Munchkins), beginning music students up to age 10 (Kiddy Keys), and a class choir for ages through middle school. In addition to the two music academies, I teach in-home lessons for families in Camas, Vancouver, Woodland, and Portland. From the beginning, I realized that what students need most is a personal experience. In addition to teaching out of books, I have been designing lesson plans tailored to individual students for the entirety of my teaching career. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with students in the Bellingham area and I cannot wait to begin sharing music with each and every student.
When beginning piano, I always start with the student telling me their objectives and aspirations. If the student is a young beginner, kindergarten/elementary age, with no or little exposure to music I like to work out of Bastien Piano Basics Primer books or the Piano Adventures series. With some students, I do not work out of books and design lessons, provide handouts, and use supplemental music materials. For older beginners (around middle and high school age), adult beginners, and intermediate to advanced level students, I often work out of what ever materials they are interested in or already own. For piano, I teach a variety of styles including popular music, jazz, and classical. With guitar, I like to work from the Alfred Guitar Method books (series of 3) with supplemental material of my and the student's choosing. I focus heavily on chord and scale vocabulary and applying those skills through music goals the student and I set together. I teach a wide variety of guitar styles and aim to guide students towards growing a list of songs they have "performance ready" and students having the skills and flexibility to songs on their own. With voice students, I focus on healthy singing, increasing the range, and having control of the voice. We start lessons with exercises and learning the students voice sounds and functions, because every person has a different voice. Then, we apply those techniques and findings to songs of my recommendation or of the student's choosing. As with piano and guitar, voice students will set goals and style(s) that they would like to work towards being able to sing.
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