I completed a BA in Public Relations from Harding University in Searcy Arkansas.
I sang with the A Capella Choir and took voice and piano lessons there.
I completed two years of music classes at Collin County Community College which included choir, playing piano and singing in jazz band and guitar lessons
I continue to take private jazz piano lessons
I have sang and played piano with various church praise teams
I formed a duo with another pianist and we perform jazz music at various events and festivals around North Texas
I have participated in events of The Dallas Jazz Piano Society, Jazz Becuzz and the Balcony Club
My Grandmother inspired me to play piano. My church taught me to sing. In high school I was involved in band and choir and was selected to tour Europe with a college group. To this day I work with foreign exchange students. In college I continued my musical studies although I majored in Public Relations. This allowed me me to take classes such as oral interpretation and work in radio/TV which enhanced my performing skills. I was a producer of a music video show before MTV. After a career as a newspaper photographer I returned to my musical studies and completed two years at Collin County Community College. I continue to take private jazz piano lessons.
After completing my BA in public relations I was awarded a teaching assistantship at the University of Arkansas to teach the basic speech requirement. I became pregnant and did not complete my MA but began teaching private piano lessons part time while raising my children. As the needs of my family changed I began working with children in other ways such as coaching ball teams. For 10 years I served on my city’s Parks Board and have worked as a local coordinator for foreign exchange students. I have worked with over 50 students from at least 10 different countries. I am dedicated to the education and personal development of young people.
As a teacher my goal is not to simply teach a student how to play or sing a certain song. My goal is to teach my students how to use the discipline of music to help them to develop their character. To that end I emphasize learning music fundamentals well and being able to put them into practice playing or singing in public at every opportunity. I also believe that playing with other musicians helps students to solidify their skills so I encourage them to play in an ensemble at every opportunity. I frequently play certain songs with my students and sometimes make recordings for them to play along with to help ensure that they are practicing the correct notes and rhythms. I take into account my students preferences and use them to ensure there are no gaps in their musical education.
I like to make sure that my students are actually learning the exercises rather than just going through the motions. If I find them making mistakes I stop them and ask them to explain to me what they are supposed to be doing. This helps me pinpoint whether they need further teaching or just more practice. I am very careful to try to catch and correct bad habits early before they become ingrained. I spend a lot of class time teaching students how to practice correctly so that when they are practicing alone they will know what to do to make their time productive. I love seeing the pride and self confidence that a student develops from mastering a particularly difficult exercise. I love being able to encourage them and see them through the tough times and be able to celebrate those victories with them.
Mrs. Rachel is a wonderful teacher. My daughter really enjoys her!