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Berklee College of Music - Merit Scholarship (2018)
Berklee College of Music - Academic Scholarship (2017-2021)
New Hampshire Allstate Select Chamber Orchestra (2012-2016)
My name is Owen and I am a professional musician and songwriter living in Brooklyn with my lovely partner, Mad. I recently graduated Magna cum laude from Berklee College of Music, where I studied for four years and received both academic and cello performance scholarships. Throughout my years playing cello, I have worked with children and adults. Everyone is different, and I make a point to cater my teaching styles to fit the personalities and pursuits of my students. As an individual, I try to be as open-minded and compassionate as I can. Being a good listener is important not only in music, but in life as well, so I work hard to listen to everyone.
At Berklee, I had the opportunity to study under known musicians such as Owen Young of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Julius Williams, who led the BCSO during my years in it and eventually became my conducting teacher / mentor. Through Julius, I was able to play at Boston's historic Symphony Hall with the Distant Worlds Orchestra led by conductor/composer Arnie Roth. I regularly performed at the Berklee Performance Center alongside world-class musicians and had the opportunity to partake in masterclasses led by musicians such as Victor Wooten, "Ready" Freddie Washington, and Kenny Werner. Outside of classical and contemporary cello, I play bass guitar in the band Superblush and often collaborate with NYC / Boston-based artists. I've been lucky to have had 100s of hours in studio settings, both as a session musician as well as a producer / engineer. At home, I record a lot on my own, namely for fun and to continue learning about audio production and processing. Although I love creating recorded music, I still find live performance the most fulfilling. More recently, I have begun working as a professional songwriter for YourSongmaker, which has allowed me to exercise my songwriting muscles and continue collaborating creatively, which is something that drives me as a person and a musician.
I like to use a combination of methods. The Suzuki Method books are great, in my opinion, at helping novices develop good sight-reading ability and fundamental understanding of the instrument. Though I disagree somewhat with Suzuki's pacing, I still find it to be a reliable method. I am a big proponent of Kummer's Method book, which is a rich source of scales, exercises and duets that help strengthen left hand technique and fingerboard familiarity. Popper's 40 Studies is another book I use regularly, however both Popper and Kummer are not appropriate for complete novices and I tend to use them (mainly Popper) further down the line. Beyond typical scale and bow exercises, I try to encourage ear training as much as possible through "call and response" exercises and explaining the importance of "hearing" rather than "reading", which I find the Suzuki method can sometimes lead to. This means I introduce music theory in order to give harmonic context to the pieces being played in order to allow students to develop improvisational skills and musical intuition.
I try to make my lessons exciting for my students. By showing them my passion for the instrument, I hope to ignite and encourage their own passion. Lessons should be a place where they feel comfortable. That being said, I think it is important that they understand personal responsibility and intention. A student is far more likely to fail if they know there are no repercussions for never practicing. At the end of the day though, I am very compassionate and understanding.
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