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BM, Crane School of Music SUNY Potsdam, General Music
2010- signed record deal with Bay Area record label
2008- bass player on Joy Adler's album "Postcards" BEST INTERNATIONAL POP ALBUM/CD, TORONTO MAGAZINE
2006- recorded with grammy nominated Latin band Alex Torres y su Orquestra
2005- bass player on Alfred book "Mastering Drumset" by Pete Sweeney
2004- Music for Miracles songwriting award winner
I started playing upright bass when I was 10 years old and quickly found that there was nothing that I enjoyed more than music. Throughout high school and college I played in orchestras, bands, jazz bands, rock bands and with singer songwriter friends. It was in college where I began teaching as part of a music for non-music majors elective and found that I really enjoyed showing people how to play an instrument. After college I continued to gig professionally, tour, and record and kept up a private studio where I taught upright bass, electric bass and guitar. I kept working and added voice, piano, drums and ukulele to the roster of instruments that I could teach after working for BandWorks- a school of rock- and at the Bird School of Music. I've played a diverse range of music from Afro-beat, Latin, Latin Jazz, R&B and Soul to Rock, Funk, Hip-Hop, Pop, Avant-garde, Jam, Americana, and Bluegrass and it has helped me to see the fundamental similarities that exist in all styles.
I began teaching in 1999 and have maintained a private studio since then while also working for various music schools and after-school music programs. I've worked with students from ages 5 to 75 and have found that students are very receptive to my energetic and engaging personality while being reassured by my ease of communication and patience. Music should be fun and enjoyable, not stressful, and I strive to create a relaxed atmosphere that is supportive and encouraging. When learning new and unfamiliar skills it is important to me to make students feel secure and excited about trying to do something they've never done before. I like to create opportunities to succeed without fear of failure.
I emphasize the importance of developing good technique and a fundamental understanding of the basic components of music: major and minor scales, arpeggios, chords, modes and chord progressions. I believe that technical facility makes it easier to accomplish musical goals while developing musicianship. I like to tailor my lessons to each student using music that the student brings to me to create lessons and exercises. For students that like to uses books I like to use the Hal Leonard Method books for Guitar, Bass, Banjo, and Ukulele and the Alfred Method books for Piano and Drums. For younger beginners on Piano I have used the Bastien Piano Method and Primer series. I don't like to rely too heavily on books for students but there is always a book available to compliment and reinforce concepts that I work on in the lessons that I teach.
I believe that music should be fun and enjoyable and I approach teaching in a friendly, calm and supportive manner. I like to communicate clearly, calmly and in a manner that is helpful and not critical. I find it tremendously important to be patient, engaging and encouraging of my students. I like to challenge my students but I also like to break pieces and exercises down to their simplest elements. Setting students up for quick successes can lead to a positive attitude that makes taking on more difficult material easier to handle.
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