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Bachelors of Music at Georgia State University, Cello Performance Degree.
2011 - Gerschefski Reader Scholarship Award
I started playing the cello in 5th grade after attending a Middle School showcase where they showed off all their clubs to rising 6th grade students. I ran away from my mother after seeing the Cellist play and went to talk to him. She found me an hour later in the Orchestra room playing with the instrument. Like the great mother she is, she took me to a local music store and had me playing shortly afterwards. Since then, I've played in many orchestras, smaller string quartets, trios, etc, and ended up graduating in 2014 with my Bachelors in Cello Performance.
I started teaching while in High School some 12 years ago. Gradually my studio has built up and is generally in the 20-30 student range, generally where I like it. I've taught privately in people's homes, in my own studio, for local music studios, and online. In these many years I've found teaching to be as much if not more enjoyable than performing. Instead of showing others my love of music I get to instill it in my students. Performance wise I have been a member of GYSO (Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra) and the GSU Orchestra as a sectional cellist - all of which have been fantastic experiences. Several of my students are currently in the same orchestra I grew up in.
My cello instruction is separated by levels and books. Level 0-1 is in Hal Leonard's Essential Elements books 1 and 2. Level 1-2 is Rick Mooney's Position Pieces Book 1, as well as sheet music and books outside of that method book. Level 2-3 is Rick Mooney's Position Pieces Book 2 and sheet music, and 3+ will be Rick Mooney's Thumb Position books. Past this there are a significant number of books all the way until you reach Professional levels. I have had many students reach this level.
For Violin and Viola Level 0-1 will be Essential Elements Book 1-2, Level 1-2 is Wohlfhart Book 1-2 and sheet music or other books for pieces, Level 2-3 is Mazas Books and sheet music, Level 3+ will have us mostly in sheet music, although there are many other good books.
While teaching I emphasize relaxation. Our goal is to achieve the best results with the least amount of effort. This emphasis also prevents injuries, and I've found it always improves the speed at which we learn. My teaching style is always relaxed. Gradually, as the student advances I learn how much I should expect from them and gently push them to expecting more from themselves over time. I am certainly more hard on students aiming to become professionals and play their instrument as a profession than I am on those seeking just to enjoy it as a hobby, but all of these students eventually can play the highest level of music, at their own pace.
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