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Master of Educational Leadership, St. Mary’s University of Minnesota (2018)
Bachelor of Music Education, Berklee College of Music (2015)
Professional Educator License K-12 Music, Illinois
Grammy Music Educator Award Quarterfinalist, Grammy Museum (2018 & 2020)
Promising Young Music Educator Award, Massachusetts Music Education Association (2014)
Scholarship Award, Young Singers Foundation (2013)
Merit Scholarship, Berklee College of Music (2012)
St. Cecilia Music Scholarship, St. Mary’s University of Minnesota (2011)
I am a passionate music educator with over 10 years as an instructor and performer. As an instructor, I am licensed by the Illinois State Board of Education to teach K-12 Instrumental, Vocal, and General Music. I teach full-time as a High School Band Director in addition to running a private studio. I am able to teach piano and most band instruments [woodwinds and brass]. I am a Grammy nominated music educator. As a performer, I perform primarily as a jazz saxophonist and can be seen playing around the Chicagoland area in various venues.
I've taught private lessons to students of all ages for the last 10+ years. Additionally, I have taught at the middle school and high school levels. I've taught instrumental, vocal, and general music. I enjoy watching students progress in their studies. Most importantly, I enjoy watching students reflect upon their growth musically. I consider music to be a very important investment in a child's future. Many parents do not know that their children can earn college scholarship dollars for playing an instrument well. As a high school band director, I've had over 20 students graduate from my program and earn college scholarships without having to be music majors. They simply needed to be good enough to play in college ensembles.
Music Education is crucial to the development of today’s student for tomorrow’s world. According to Plato, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” The benefits and impact that Music Education has on the lives of children and adults alike are paramount. Unlike any other academic subject, music engages the mind, body, and spirit. Through Music Education, students develop an aesthetic temperament that goes well beyond that of their non-musical counterparts. Aside from becoming culturally educated and immersed in appreciation for the sheer beauty of life and the world around them, students involved in music are able to develop many basic life skills that are not always attained from sitting in a class reading from a textbook. My philosophy of Music Education is to not only teach students “music,” but to also provide them with the tools necessary to succeed in their lives whether or not they are interested in becoming professional musicians. My duty as an educator is to provide an enriching experience for all students in hopes of inspiring them to become better people and productive members of society in their respective fields.
Amalgamated with more traditional academic subjects such as math, science, history, and English, Music and Arts Education creates an enriching academic experience and a well-rounded education. Music prepares students for life by nourishing cognitive, emotional, and creative growth. Music provides students a means to express themselves through a non-typical medium, to unlock the creativity that lies within the confines of their imaginations, to develop coordination that is crucial to human development, and to contribute artistic beauty to the world that is their own musical voice and identity.
Students need to master critical skills in order to lead a successful and productive life. The ability to read, write, comprehend, evaluate, analyze, process, critique, lead, follow, and make smart judgment calls are all skills that are developed within the music classroom. For example, in a typical band situation, students are striving to learn a new piece of music. In order for this learning to take place, a student’s mental process requires a great deal of concentration to facilitate the level of discipline to achieve the goal of learning the piece.
The students must be able to internalize and decode written notation, observe special instructions such as dynamics, meter changes, articulation changes, and navigation through technical difficulties on an external instrument. They must also ensure that what they are doing is conducive to the goals and objectives of the group as a collective unit. Through the performance of music, students are able to develop skills in public engagement (performing under pressure in front of an audience), self-confidence, and demonstration of recent work. In addition, students need to make use of recordings of performances to evaluate and critique their own performance and the performance of the group in its entirety. This is important because students will need to work in a group setting, make judgment calls, self-evaluate, evaluate the group, and strive towards improvement.
As an educator, my goal is to foster an environment of community, leadership, integrity, trust, and mutual respect. Through the use of section leaders, student conductors, and assigned responsibilities, I hope to provide students with opportunities to assert themselves as leaders and make decisions that will affect the group in a positive way. This level of leadership applies to all grade levels. I feel that great leadership training starts as early as pre-school. I look forward to watching the growth of my students not only musically, but also throughout their entire lives. My success as an educator is based on the success of my students.
Nothing is more rewarding than seeing one of my students develop a passion for music! Therefore, it's important that each student progresses at his or her own pace. I encourage this by engaging students in conversations about realistic and individual growth goals. Acknowledging accomplishments helps fuel a students desire to progress, and makes students eager to learn more. By trying to find out what inspires the student, I can successfully tailor my instruction to their wants and needs. I work to make instruction engaging and structure it in a way where students are able to easily reflect upon their progress. I find that engaging students in a reflective process allows them to think differently about what they are learning and seek to learn more.
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