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Music Theory, Ear Training, Composition, Lone Star College
2016 and 2017-Austin Chronicle Best Punk Band, Sailor P 2015-Nominee for Musicians to Know About, Houston Chronicle
I was born a musician and started singing at a very young age. Both of my parents were artists and musicians, and were constantly exposing me to music at church and from their favorite artists. Growing up, I would make up songs for her stuffed animals to sing and would perform them in front of anyone that would listen. This continued with friends I made later in grade school and choir. I started taking guitar lessons at 8, but had a difficult time with discipline and commitment, which stemmed from not feeling connected with my teacher. This sparked a chain reaction of thought and observation for me. Throughout my entire education process, I was always fascinated with communication and would pay special attention to the way my instructors informed the students of lesson plans and concepts. This inspired me to be the change that I wanted to see. In high school, I was blessed with an incredibly patient, thorough and talented choir teacher. He taught me the fundamental building blocks of musicianship as I understand it best. To this day, I use the key concepts I learned from him in my lessons. 1) Rhythm is the most important element of music. 2) Understanding the importance of persistence, practice, and patience with the instrument. 3) You can manufacture energy and put it into your music. Not only am I a teacher, but am an experienced live performer and very active in the Live Austin Music Scene.
My teaching experiences started when I was in college, a fellow classmate of mine needed help with some of her younger students and the world of music education opened up to me from there. I have been teaching steadily now for 7 years, working with students from ages 5-55. I have taught group and private lessons in music studios, students' homes, or my own home studio. Students I have come across in time have come with a multitude of personality types, learning patterns and physical challenges. I believe the longer one does anything, they get better at it. That's why I keep going. The more I teach, the more I learn.
Depending on the age and personality, I cater each lesson to the individual. If they are younger students, I'll use Mel Bay or Hal Leonard books, but sometimes I will make a custom book that builds with their development and learning style. I believe reading sheet music is important, but understand that being able to play along with other musicians using ear training and improv skills, as well as reading chord charts, is just as necessary. I usually try to stick to a format where we review warm-up exercises with the body and instrument, then dive into song of personal interest and skill level.
I am incredibly fulfilled by witnessing growth in my students, and love the "Ah-HA!" moments. My approach is based on the student's learning patterns and interests, and tailor my lessons to each individual student. I feel that music is the ultimate form of expression, and I try to make my foundation as limitless as possible. Growth is the main goal for me and my students. My job is not to make virtuosos, but to give my students the right practice and motivational tools so they can accomplish their goals while also having fun.
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