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MMEd, Vandercook College of Music, Master of Music Education MM, Baylor University, Trumpet Performance BA, Lawrence University, Philosophy BA, Lawrence University, Trumpet Performance
1987 - National Merit Scholar
1992 - Baylor Faculty Brass Quintet (as graduate assistant)
1998 to 2017 - Connexion Band (featured performer on vocals, trumpet, sax, flute, ukulele, keyboard, guitar, djembe, trombone, jazz combo leader)
1999 to 2017 - Bartels/Benson Duo
2004 to present - Prohibition Orchestra (lead trumpet, lead vocals)
I developed my skills as a result of my upbringing. My mother was a teacher who specialized in encouraging me to live up to my most cherished dreams. Music was a good enough fit for me that I studied, performed, and taught for many years. Now, after fifteen years, I seek to go back to teaching private lessons - which will work better with a more seasoned perspective. No matter what else you want out of life, you chose music. As I did, I can help you rise up to the desired level of skill and status.
In essence, my love of teaching stems from my Mom's love of teaching. She sincerely desired to teach my siblings and myself to pursue our highest dreams. It turned out that I did succeed as a star performer in music, on stages around the world. But also, when I decided to settle down, I added education to my 10-year plan. So, I went back to school for another master's degree, and taught music in CPS - performing three nights per week with my the Bartels/Benson duo, Connexion Band, Prohibition Orchestra, Bryan Skyler Trio, and other groups. I also worked with my wife for the Illinois Arts Council, which included full-school musical/dramatic performances.
The most important philosophical concept about private lessons is this: proceed in a way that will maximize your potential to achieve an excellent goal that you can call your own. Although I am not limited to one method book or another, I typically use Arban's for trumpet lessons - with other books and repertoire along with it. My background is Suzuki violin, followed by music literacy and transposition. So, whatever method book we select, we must consider basic furthering of direct musical perceptions, in addition to achievement of stated goals.
The approach, overall, is to drive toward the student's goal. When someone wants to learn how to play an instrument well enough to play in a band or orchestra, I usually consider two needs - playing music and interpreting written music. These are basic parts of education, literally easy to define by achieving pages in etude books. In addition, though, there is a third component to meeting the set goal: writing music - a sensibility that you can create. I find that this compositional component of music is thrillingly fun! So, depending on the student, I will either write you a song, or collaborate a song with you, or produce your song. You see, Garage Band (among other apps) is easy to use.
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