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BMusc, The Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, Music Composition and Technology
2014 - The Morton Feldman Award for Experimental Music Composition, The Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College
2013 - The H. Wiley Hitchcock Award for Cross-Cultural Music Composition, The Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College
2013 - Performer to Watch, The Deli Magazine
2013 - Composer in Residence, Dance Department at Brooklyn College
2009 - Best Musician in Graduating Class, Newton South High School
I am a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, and improviser who is equally passionate about teaching music as I am about playing it. I graduated with a Bachelors of Music degree in Music Composition and Music Technology from the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College. I perform often as both a solo vocalist and technologist and with my experimental RnB group The Pluto Moons. As a soloist, my performances and recordings of my own compositions have been featured at a variety of festivals throughout the world, including the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, the PNEM Festival in Uden Netherlands, and the Hörlursfestival in Solleftea, Sweden. The Pluto Moons as a group have performed all over the states and have released music on labels in both the U.S. and Europe.
I teach a variety of music to a variety of people, ranging from classical composition to hip-hop songwriting and production, classical voice to pop, rock, and punk vocals, baroque piano to free jazz synthesizers, and maybe not everything in between, but I try to get close. I have been teaching privately since 2006, with a special focus on teaching both children and adults with special needs. On top of that, I also am an adjunct instructor and engineer at Borough Manhattan Community College, where I teach students and other faculty alike the ins and outs of the recording studio. My main areas of expertise are in voice, songwriting and composition, improvisation, contemporary piano and synthesizer performance, recording your own music, and ear training and theory. I love to teach because I have to teach. My philosophy is if you believe you are born with a special gift, you are obligated to give and teach the ways of this gift to people who strive to understand it. In other words, music is my passion and the one thing I've been able to do my entire life, and creating it gives me tremendous joy. I like to think it is my musical duty to show others that they themselves can create this tremendous joy, and that I'm here to help them get there.
For all my students, including vocalists, I always try to keep things enjoyable with mixed repertoire assignments. Even at beginner levels, I've seen some of my students cover the songs that they want to learn. I didn't learn to sing and play the piano by being forced to play songs I didn't enjoy as a listener. The key is finding music that is both challenging to create and fun as heck to perform. Specifically as a vocal teacher and overall vocal performance enthusiast, I rely on contemporary ear training as the key method to my teaching style. Borrowing from classical solfeggio, jazz ear training, interval and chordal recognition, and many other methods, I have created a truly successful way to sharpen my students pitch intepretation, many of whom have gone on to develop relative and perfect pitch on their own time.
Positive reinforcement is key. I never learned from the mean or the overly strict teachers. In fact those teachers pushed me in the opposite direction of wanting to pursue music professionally. By going at the pace that is comfortable to the student, and praising them at every hurdle they encounter, the progress made can be exponentially greater than if the student is rushed to prepare a piece of music they don't truly care for in the first place. Music has to be fun, even when it's challenging beyond belief. This is what truly motivates my students.
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