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BA, Duke University, Music Theory and Composition
2016- Graduated from Duke University with high distinction for senior thesis in jazz composition 2017- Toured Northern Italy and France for a 4 weeks performing with NC based arts collective Rivertown Records.
I'm a composer, instrumentalist, and teacher who just moved to the Bay Area from North Carolina, after graduating from Duke University's music program in 2016. I have been playing music for nearly all my life. My main instruments are upright and electric bass, guitar, and dobro. I love all things jazz, funk and soul, as well as the traditional sounds of Appalachia and the American Delta. I also have spent plenty of time playing in punk rock bands as a kid. At Duke I studied western common practice theory and composition, with a concentration in modern jazz.
My teaching experience goes back to late high school, as I began teaching beginner upright bass to young students part time. As my passion and dedication to music developed throughout college, I expanded to teaching more advanced students, in a wider range of styles and instruments. I also tutored theory, composition, and ear training in more academic settings. To me the fundamental job of the teacher is to foster a student's passion for music, as I believe the most effective way to learn how to play and create is to marry the practical issues of learning to the joy that that learning brings.
My methods vary depending on what style of music a student is looking to play, as well as how much breadth of theoretical knowledge the student is interested in becoming fluent in. For example, if a student wanted to gain a rigorous understanding of tonal harmony for compositional purposes, I would work with them through Aldwell and Schachter's Harmony and Voice Leading. If on the other hand they wanted to learn how to play improvisatory dobro style slide guitar in a bluegrass setting, we would likely begin by building the traditional repertoire that saturates the style. In a more general sense, my lessons consist of a warm up, technical exercises, work on a study piece or pieces, ear training, and theory. Because different goals and styles require a different mixture of these components, the specific flow of each lesson is dictated by the needs of the student. Above all else I want to provide a student with the knowledge, tools, and inspiration to pursue what they would like to do.
For me, taking part in and sharing music is an incredible joy, unlike nearly anything else. To that end, there is nothing more rewarding than helping someone else to develop their own passion. My teaching style reflects this. I am a firm believer that a disciplined and rigorous understanding of the theory and practical aspects of playing music is indispensable. However, theoretical study and practice should never overshadow the real reason why anyone studies music, which is to play and create. In this sense, I try to isolate a students goals, and then provide them a path to reach those goals, without cutting any corners or bogging them down with unnecessary study.
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