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MS, Northern Illinois University, Mechanical Engineering BS, Northern Illinois University, Mechanical Engineering AS, Oakton Community College, Pre-Engineering AA, Oakton Community College, Liberal Arts
1986 - Louis Armstrong Jazz Award 2013 - 2015 Performed with The Buddy Rich Band under the direction of Cathy Rich 2014 - Current Lead Trombonist for the Theater Company of Sun City
Hello and Welcome, My name is Michael. I am a performer and teacher who specializes in the tenor trombone and jazz music. I graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Master's in Mechanical Engineering and have always explored the different connections between music, music education and technology. In addition to traditional learning tools I use current technology to help develop a student's own inner musical voice in a friendly non-judgmental environment. I have had the pleasure of performing professionally in and around the Chicago area since 1985 and have been coaching beginning thru professional trombonists for the last 15 years.
My teaching experience began in the late 90's volunteering for many professional bands that would going into area high schools and perform for the music department. I was approached my several parents and music directors to give lessons. As a teacher, I try to remove any road blocks a student is having by developing well rounded musician. As a performer, my career has taken me across the Mid-West and abroad on tours as far as Russia and Poland. Currently, I play professionally in the Chicago-land area. It continues to be an absolute pleasure watching students grow, discovering that "Aha moment" and continue their musicianship into college and beyond.
For beginning students, I typically start with breathing exercises geared towards tone production as well as mouthpiece buzzing to start strengthening the student's embouchure. For more developed students, I try to guide them accordingly around their interests to keep the lessons fresh and more importantly, FUN. A typical lesson will consist of but not limited to, warm-up Call and Response exercises, where the student mirrors what I play. This is not only a time for them to develop aural skills, but to also hear and see professional playing up close and gives the student an example in developing their own musical concept. Depending on the age level, we will then move on to etudes (short study pieces) and short exercises meant to develop technique. I stress the study of etudes not only to develop technique but more importantly to develop the student's own unique musical inner voice. I suggest the student keep a practice journal to maintain an efficient, focused and effective practice. My lessons end with a review and time to answer any questions the student may have.
Teaching a student a standard of excellence in fundamentals, listening, self analysis and musical logic is at the core of our journey together. Rather than simply copy my demonstrations, I engage students to make decisions at every step of their study, regardless of their age and ability. There is no one size fits all methodology to teaching and mastery does not happen overnight. Students come to me at different levels and absorb information differently, I believe in coaching my students towards discovering their own personal connection to the music.
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