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MM, University of Miami Frost School of Music, Vocal Jazz Performance
I always wanted to be an opera singer until I discovered vocal jazz. Now, I write music inspired by jazz theory (sort of) and sing and arrange jazz standards and pop tunes in ways that are the most interesting to me. I earned my Masters in Studio Music and Vocal Jazz Performance from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music in 2017 and am currently writing and arranging songs for my premiere album. In the meantime, I teach private voice lessons and composition/arranging for small vocal and instrumental ensembles in my tiny home studio in Mountlake Terrace, WA.
I knew I wanted to be a teacher even before I knew I wanted to be a musician. I have been teaching for the last 7 years (as long as I've been studying), and I absolutely love the challenge of communicating with students who learn in different ways than I do. Along with teaching in-home lessons, I have provided beginner piano/advanced voice lessons at three private music schools - the most recent of these being the Community Arts Program in Miami, Fl. Teaching is a learned skill as much as it is something that comes naturally, and I have been encouraged in my pursuit of knowledge by a host of my own private teachers over the years: Susan Trainer (classical voice), Johnaye Kendrick (jazz voice), Kelly Ash (jazz voice), Jessika Kenney (experimental/Persian voice), Dr. Kate Reid (jazz voice).
There is no point in learning what to do if you don't know why you are doing it, so teaching "the why" of every exercise is very important to me. The idea is to eventually teach myself out of a job! While I provide a general syllabus to each student, I prefer to customize my lesson plans to the individual, first finding out what their goals are and then deciding what will help us achieve them. I usually find it is in the best interest of myself and my student to begin with familiar repertoire and then to expand as we become comfortable and adventurous. A lesson might include any of the following: • Warm-ups/breath work/agility • Vocal improvisation via line, phrasing, syllables, dynamics etc. • Ear-training/sight-reading using common modes/scales/chord progressions/solfege/interval recognition • Basic piano grips for practice accompaniment • Performance etiquette education: calling tunes, counting off, knowing a form etc. • Composition • Arranging for small vocal/instrumental ensemble • Finale Music Notation Software instruction
I am interested in the individual growth of my students. I encourage exploration and learning through experiences, and if my students leave my classes with a little more knowledge and a great deal more wonder, I consider it a success. I like to follow my students down the tracks they are interested in and then choose to broaden the path once we are there. From this place I have written a 12 page chart featuring a Justin Bieber tune, written a Britney Spears song into Swing, put a Miranda Lambert song in five, and arranged an original by The Script in a Latin feel.
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