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Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Young Musician Scholarship (2013)
Performer at NextJen Jazz Festival 2017
I'm a musician with an extensive background in many different styles of music - I graduated Indiana University with a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Studies on double bass in 2018, and moved to NYC in July. Though my focus is on jazz double bass, I also have extensive experience playing other styles of music, in addition to other instruments. I have ten years of experience studying classical piano, and have extensive experience working professionally on bass guitar in blues, rock, funk, R&B and musical theatre settings. I also have experience creating and performing electronic music, free-improvised music, and avant-garde/experimental styles.
My teaching experience, so far, has mostly been in the form of group clinics, coaching high school jazz combos. In my time, I have been fortunate enough to work with some really incredible teachers, which has really inspired me in my own teaching to hold myself to as high a standard as possible. Teaching, for me, is very similar to musical performance, in that I want to strive to be like those that have inspired me. I feel as though I've been learning by example for a number of years now, and I look forward to every chance I get to emulate those who I had the great fortune of learning from.
For beginning students, I like to focus on method - getting around the instrument, being able to play in tune, being able to find each individual note, and being able to remain relaxed while playing. No matter what instrument, or what style, I want as soon as possible to get a student to the point where they can find whatever note they need without having to think hard about it, without having to look down at the instrument to find it, and being able to remain physically relaxed while playing it - it's very similar to learning a new language, in this way. Depending on the style, I will also focus on rhythm at a very early stage. When playing funk, hip hop, jazz, rock, or any number of other groove-oriented styles of music, developing good rhythm early on is absolutely crucial.
For more intermediate students, we will begin to focus on what inspires them - what they're listening to, what they want to be able to do, and what they need to be regularly practicing in order to get there. I believe that any and every style of music requires regular, methodical practice to be able to play, but I also believe that it always needs to remain more enjoyable than not - I will always prioritize keeping the learning process something that remains fun, engaging, and interesting.
Though I am a strong believer in methodology and tackling the basics of an instrument early on, I am also a big believer in "learning the rules so you can break them." My goal is for a student to be able to play that which inspires them, no matter what style. I am not a music snob, by any means - I enjoy most styles of music, and I have played most styles of music. I believe in inherent value in every single style, and my ultimate goal is helping a student to be able to break into what truly inspires them, no matter what it is. In the process of doing so however, I believe in being methodical and dedicated. I believe in being direct, about what's going really well, and about what needs improvement, week to week. However, in being direct about what needs improvement, I will also give specific, tailored instruction on exactly what to do to bring it to that next level. Whatever you want to do, whatever inspires you, I believe a teacher's role is to help you figure out exactly what you need to do to reach your full potential.
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