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BM, Temple University, Jazz Bass Performance
Performed with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra
Temple University Diamond Research Scholar
Performed at the memorial service for Cecil Taylor
Recorded with top jazz and avant-garde artists in New York
Wrote a book on Jimmy Garrison
I am a bassist and artist with a passion for developing my students creativity, as well as preparing them for a myriad of musical settings. I began performing publicly on a weekly basis over ten years ago and am very familiar with the skills necessary to be the kind of musician people want to perform with. The main focus of my teaching curriculum is to develop a life long love of music and a passion for the creative arts. I believe that music is one of the music beautiful things one can study and it is a joy to have the opportunity to share such a fantastic passion.
I began teaching music at the age of sixteen, teaching students not much younger than me about a wide variety of subjects like music theory, rock electric bass, composition, classical upright bass, and jazz improvisation. While still in high school I was the assistant conductor for my schools string orchestra and ran a small jazz ensemble at the Richmond Youth Jazz Guild. Since coming to college I have continued to teach students in Philadelphia as well as in Amsterdam for a brief time, giving lessons on avant-garde improvisation and double bass technique.
With my bass students, I begin with basic technique and ear training. My first goal for a student is to learn one of their favorite simple folk songs by ear, while also developing basic musical skills and instrumental technique. I believe that it is extremely important to begin developing a students aural abilities and creativity early on. I also will have the student begin to work out of the Simandl bass method book for simple exercises and introduction to reading music. From there I will begin to introduce more and more information about the styles of music that interest the student and hopefully begin developing an environment where the student can learn and write music and play how they want to play.
My teaching style is relaxed and focused on having fun with music. I have had many teachers who have been very influential in my life and teaching philosophy. My biggest goal is for the student to make beautiful music they like to make, and I believe that enjoying the music is the best way to make that happen. This is because I think practice is often over complicated, in my mind the best way to become a good musician is to spend as much time as possible playing the instrument, and a relaxed and fun approach is the best way to get a student playing all day.
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