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BA, UW-Madison, Communication Arts: Radio, TV, Film class of 2008 Studio piano lessons for 15 years at Reed Music Studios in La Crosse, WI Have taught piano, guitar, voice various skill levels for 10 years including private lessons and Girls Rock Camp Have written music for 3 musicals, served as music director for 10+ theater productions, write and perform in 3 bands in Madison
2014 Bartie Award for Best Overall Production and Best Music Director: Xanadu
2012 NY Fringe Festival participant for original musical Z-Town: The Zombie Musical
2012 NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theater Program auditions participant
2000-2004 honorable mention 4 years in a row WMTA for classical piano, music theory, and ear training
2009 Isthmus Favorite New Band: Little Red Wolf
I'm a writer, performer, teacher, audio techie, producer, director...a jack of all trades music person.
My teaching experience dates back to high school when I taught my mom's friends' kids beginner lessons in piano on the weekends to earn some extra cash. I started playing in bands in college which garnered the attention of Girls Rock Camp, which has made me more connections to teach private lessons. Although I did not major in music in college, I have 15 years of studio training from arguably the best piano studio in Wisconsin where I studied music theory, ear training, classical and jazz piano, and more. I have worked as music director on over ten musical theater productions including three musicals I've written and I've performed to sold out crowds on the High Noon Saloon stage, and several other venues in town. I work at Clutch Sound (formerly known as Smart Studios) as an audio recording engineer and video editor, so I also know the technical side to music production.
For beginning piano students who are children, I typically start with the Alfred series, and supplement with basic vocabulary, flash cards, and ear training. At a first lesson, I assess the student's skill level and/or natural aptitude, then test for the most effective learning style (drawing, vocabulary, spelling, videos, games, hands-on with the piano, singing, clapping, etc.) At a beginner level for children, I believe the most important thing in music lessons is to make the lesson fun and engaging, and find the most effective way for the student to absorb the key concepts rather than push one set of books or method. We always get through the books as well, we just have more fun doing it if the child is engaged via other methods. For intermediate and advanced students in piano, I have a large repetoire of classical, jazz, pop, rock, showtunes, and musical theater pieces to help the student learn new music, styles, and grow their skill level. For beginning students who are adults in piano, I like to focus on bigger picture music concepts first because I think it's the most valuable. We focus on notes, chords, ear training, theory, and learn to play some popular songs with chord charts first, and then shift focus to reading music. This approach is often more valuable for adult students as I teach how to play popular songs and how to write songs first. This is often more enjoyable for a student who may not be interested in playing classical music. But I am flexible and open to whatever the student is interested in, regardless of ability or age. Recital performance for all students are optional and flexible. I believe that performing in front of other people, and the preparation aspect of performance is key if the student wants to perform, but there are so many other aspects of learning and appreciating music that last a lifetime without performing too, so that is always up to the student. For guitar, I teach basic techniques, strum patterns, chords, solo-ing, scales, and theory. You will be able to play popular songs, perform your own solos, and write your own songs on either acoustic or electric guitar. For voice, I teach basic techniques so you don't hurt your vocal chords, I teach how to increase your range and your power, how to warm-up your voice, good breath support, how to achieve good diction, and how to scream properly! I am not qualified to train vocalists interested in classical or operatic performance, only rock/pop/punk and musical theater. I can show you how to belt high and add rasp to your voice. I also teach how to riff, growl, and scream.
My approach as a teacher is all about the student's needs. I believe very strongly that in order to develop a long-lasting appreciation and skill for music, the student needs to learn at his or her own pace and using methods and choosing songs to learn that engage the student the best. I like to have fun so my students and I usually end up laughing quite a bit! My schedule is flexible so I'm often able to work with the student longer than the scheduled time, so we can have fun and keep learning as long as I'm able to stay and as long as the student is engaged. This makes it more fun for both of us. (note: I don't charge extra for staying late with a student because of this) I also like to incorporate music theory and ear training whenever I can regardless of the instrument, because it sets the foundation for the student being able to write their own songs in the future. I am a writer myself and I think giving students the tools to write their own music is a wonderful gift that helps express creativity, inspires confidence, and lasts a lifetime.
very nice and good with Madison
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