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2011 - Winner, Phillips Jazz Piano Competition
My life intention is to offer something meaningful to others, and teaching music is a central part of that. I moved to Denver to be the head of piano at CU Denver, and have now moved into nonprofit work, along with performing and teaching from my home studio. I focus on jazz and popular music, and teach all experience levels. I hold a recital date at the end of the "Fall" and "Spring" semester for my students with the opportunity to perform with a fantastic professional rhythm section! I have studied at Berklee, New England Conservatory, and UT Austin, and performed at the highest levels of the industry, including making Hip Hop tracks for Warner Brothers in my 20s, touring with funk/rock, latin, and jazz acts around the world, playing in top wedding bands and directing music at churches. I teach using Zoom, with an overhead cam and face cam, and record all lessons for accessing after the lessons as well.
I became passionate about teaching during my master's degree studies at New England Conservatory. I followed that passion through a doctoral degree in Music and Human Learning at UT Austin, and since have taught at universities, summer camps, and after-school programs. At the Stanford Jazz Workshop, I have been the Faculty Director and the Co-Director of the Mentor Fellowship Program, and I am the co-founder of CU Denver's LYNX Music Industry Camp. I have performed and recorded music all over the world, including making Hip Hop tracks for Warner Bros., and playing Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl with my father, Grammy-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. In Denver, you can hear me playing at jazz clubs, accompanying singers, and various other concerts around the area.
My primary goal is to individually assess and direct students toward their most meaningful goals, whether that is professional level performance and composition, prepping for auditions, or just enjoying beginning on the instrument. I often have students work through my Commercial Piano Workbooks, or use jazz worksheets that I have created. My workbooks come with access to free video tutorials and dozens of play-along tracks, which makes for fun, challenging, and highly effective learning. I want students to be able to execute music on the instrument, but also to understand what is happening in the music, so I combine theory and composition with almost all of my piano instruction.
I believe in the power of music learning as a personally empowering experience of creativity, and also as a beneficial support for the human brain at any age. I don't believe in pushing students beyond their ambition--my expectations are contextualized to authentically meaningful aspirations of each student. For the rare student who has serious professional ambition, I will absolutely push them to achieve the highest level of performance ability. For a student prepping for an audition, I will guide them based on my experience as both a prospective student and as a professor who has run hundreds of auditions. For a young student or casual adult, I will guide them to whatever feeds their joy and enthusiasm for music.
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