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BM - Jazz Studies, New England Conservatory
MM - Contemporary Improvisation (Music-in-Education Concentration), New England Conservatory
2018 - Academic Honors 2017 - $1500 Entrepreneurial Musician Grant to produce and star in a reinterpretation of Jason Robert Brown's "The Last 5 Years" 2018 - $500 "Spark" Grant Award to fund album of original music
My curriculums have been based much in my student’s interests and tastes, and I shape each individual student’s experience around them. These include: world music, RnB and musical theatre songs. One of my past students was very interested in Whitney Houston and the “diva” sound and was having trouble with it as they are a tenor. I focused mainly on healthy belting, as well as working through their “break” and connecting their belt to their falsetto. I have had many wonderful teaching experiences with large groups as well. In the Spring of 2014, I was a co-founder of a jazz vocal quartet that was one of the artists-in-residence at the Virginia Beach Arts Festival. Over 5 days, we worked with 12 different groups of students (K-12), and taught jazz and improvisation through interdisciplinary means.
Sam combines a traditional vocal pedagogy with modern repertoire. For the last few years, he has been managing his own private vocal studio, where he places an emphasis on teaching healthy vocal technique through a jazz medium. Where as many voice instructors rely heavily on Italian art song (which is most certainly within his play book), jazz standards are a more modern and approachable genre for students to explore their own voices and artistry. Curriculums are based in the student’s interests and tastes. These include: world music, RnB, gospel, pop, jazz and musical theatre.
My teaching philosophy is very much that of empathy. I believe that the voice is an extension of a person’s whole being; if a singer is feeling any strong emotion, it will find its way into their singing. As an educator, one must be in-tuned with the student’s desires, hopes, fears and anxieties. A good voice instructor navigates these to achieve powerful results with their students. Most importantly, I think that the student should be having fun; especially at the beginner to intermediate level. If you don't enjoy your art, than why make it?
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