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BM, The Crane School of Music @ SUNY Potsdam, Music Education; MM, Western Michigan University, Piano Performance; Jamey Aebersold's Summer Jazz Workshop (1 week program); Piano Pedagogy Workshop, Longy School of Music (1 week program); University of Miami, School at Salzburg Austria (6 week program)
2013 - New York Musical Theatre Festival "Standby" Rehearsal Accompanist/Keys 2
2007 - 2012 Music Director/Band Leader on Holland America Cruise Line
2003 Outstanding Graduate Teacher Award - Western Michigan University
2001-2003 Full-time Graduate Teaching Assistant
2004 Wrote, compiled and instituted 3 years of class piano curriculum
I started playing when I was 7 and just really haven't stopped. I have always enjoyed playing the piano and also teaching the piano. As a performer I have played in a wide variety of styles and ensembles from giving Solo Recitals to Rock Bands, and playing in Big Bands to Musical Theater Orchestras. After earning my Masters degree in Piano Performance I taught for several years and then began to perform on Cruise ships as the MD of the show band for the next 6.5 years. I enjoy all kinds of music, and I also enjoy teaching others how to play the piano and to understand music at a deeper level. As a teacher, I have taught all ages and also all levels, and always enjoy the opportunity to work with someone to begin or continue their musical journey.
I have been teaching piano since 1998. I have taught in both private studios as well as a lot of group piano lessons. My students have varied greatly in interest levels from college bound piano majors to adults who just want to improve their playing, and learn something new while having fun, as well as many children who start because their parents want them too, but end up sticking around because they enjoy it. I think one of the main goals of music lessons is to give the student a better understanding of music in general and not just a few pieces they can play, so I frequently use composition, improvisation, theory as well as popular music, as tools to help my studentst grow and become more familiar with the language of music.
I match the individual method that I use to the student. I try to incorporate all the fields of musical study; performance, technic, and as mentioned above, improvisation, reading, and composition to give the student a well rounded approach to musical study, all the while keeping it at a level that is both fun and challenging for the student.
The most important thing is that my students enjoy our lesson time together and progress at a pace that is comfortable and encouraging for them. I believe that if the material is too easy and there is no challenge then the students will lose interest. The same however, is also true if the material is too challenging for the student, the student will lose heart and not be motivated to practice. So I make sure that we push when we need to push and also celebrate legitimate wins often to build confidence in performance. I strive to teach students to have a healthy respect for music and their own abilities.
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