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Bachelor of Science, Manhattan College, Chemical Engineering
Manhattan College, Jazz Band President
National Champion - Drumline / Marching Band
Performer in 10+ bands
Robbie is a multi-instrumentalist performer, teacher, and composer from Somerville, NJ. He actively plays out with the bands Ross Griswold and the Second Line, Woke Robot, Wig Party, Castle Lane, and more - spanning genres from rock, funk, New Orleans and R&B to Afro-Peruvian jazz fusion and electronic music. He’s also the music director for Antioch Baptist Church in East Orange, NJ. Actively using Ableton Live to perform and compose, he is a sought-after music programming guru, able to teach and solve complex audio and midi setups for live bands and music producers. This is in addition to teaching piano, drums, guitar and bass. He enjoys teaching multi-instrument students to share overlapping concepts among the different instruments, and helps students record their own musical projects. Some of his music has been featured on Comedy Central, and he hosts a Funk and Jam Band Jam at Roxy and Duke’s in Dunellen, NJ every second Thursday of the month.
I've been teaching for over 10 years now and I truly enjoy helping my students get more out of themselves. I started on classical piano at a young age, then played a whole lot of guitar focusing on the likes of Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and more, before joining marching band and jazz band diving deep into drums. In College I started playing bass in bands in Manhattan, and I believe it's this transitions of hopping to many different instruments, starting on the piano, that makes it easy for me to relay the main musical concepts to my students that overlap through all of these instruments.
For beginning piano students, I often get them started with the Faber piano series, then incorporate music theory along with their song requests. For beginning fretted string students (guitar/bass/ukelele), I like to start with the Hal Leonard method book to get started with reading notation, so that we cover more than just tabs and chords. For drum/percussion students, I'll have them start with a combination of Syncopation by Ted Reed and Peter Erksine's Drumset Essentials Volume 1. All instruments will also have fundamentals as part of their homework each week (Scales and Chords for piano/guitar/bass/ukelele, rudiments and technique for drums).
I see teaching as a gateway to help students express their creativity, while incorporating a disciplined approach to help them achieve more from challenged in life in general. i don't simply field song requests, I also explain to my students the inner workings of why certain musical concepts work, why the artist may have chosen that and how you as the student can incorporate these creative ideas into your own compositions. In addition to playing multiple instruments, I am also an advanced Ableton Live instructor, and encourage to students to get involved with recording. I'm happy to cover all different levels and will apply appropriate techniques for all - from just getting started, to improving your skills for your next album or tour.
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