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BA, University of Redlands, Liberal Arts
I'm a passionate and motivated instructor who loves working with students and sharing my love of music. Music for me has become a journey towards finding my true voice. I began playing flute as a young child by mandate of my parents, and was pretty much forced by my parents to practice every day... and now, am I ever glad I did! Growing up, I played in several concert bands and continued studying classical music with a private instructor. In high school and college I learned a bit of jazz as well. I have an aunt who is a professional opera singer, and when I was a young adult in my 20s I decided to take voice lessons from her... hence the journey towards finding my true voice! I worked with her for several years to get in touch with the musical voice that had always been hiding inside me, and learned to listen to that. I began to develop a deep love of performing, but struggled with severe stage fright, so I mostly kept myself away from any stage for many years. Years later I found a flute choir to join, where our performances were "safely limited" to churches and elder-care homes. With practice, many performances, and some unexpected networking I discovered some local "pro-jams" where I made my rock-alternative-jazz debut. The first time I performed on stage, in a loud, crowded club, I felt the nerves take over as my hands and breath shook. I was certain I'd played terribly and would be forever shunned by the rock performing community, but it turns out nobody noticed my nerves - only the fact that I got up on stage and played that flute. This transformative moment for me led to many energetic performances, increasing in confidence each time. As an adult I've enjoyed performing in several ensembles including 8 years in a flute choir and various professional "jam sessions." I love performing, whether it be highly rehearsed and technical or improvisation. In my years of flute playing I've had the honor of performing with local contemporary rock groups such as The Straightjackets and Father Jones Band, funk bands Soul Circus/The Insecurity Guards, and the internationally renowned, Grammy winning singer/songwriter Jeffrey Gaines.
I have been playing the flute for 40 years. I began teaching in-person private flute lessons in 2006 and quickly developed a love for inspiring others to develop their musical talents. By focusing on a student's strengths and passions first, I am able to draw out the inner genius that each individual possesses inside and tap into that energy to fuel their success. I always start with the classics, because I believe that it creates the strongest foundation upon which to build skills. Over the years I've discovered that while some students have a love of performing on stage, others prefer the privacy of their own home. I've developed methods to individualize lessons so that a student can get what they truly want out of their musical journey - whether it be polishing their performances, creating self-recordings, or simply improving as a musician.
Always start with the basics to build upon a strong foundation. For beginners, I typically recommend the Rubank series (now part of the Hal Leonard Corporation), likely the Rubank Elementary Method, or E. Wagner Foundation to Flute Playing, depending upon what level they've already achieved. I teach both to the book and to the student's needs & preferences; thus, we may progress on a page-by-page basis, covering approximately 1 book page per week with a weekly 45-minute lesson to review and then progress, or focus on areas the student needs to strengthen, such as practicing long-tones to improve tone strength and quality and using the book lessens only as a supplement. To this day, I still use the books I learned from as practice to keep my skills sharp.
Nothing is more rewarding than seeing one of my students develop a passion for playing flute! Therefore, it's important that each student progresses at his or her own pace. I encourage this by setting realistic goals for my students at each lesson, always asking for their input so that the direction of their musical journey can follow their desires. By trying to find out what inspires the student, I can successfully tailor my instruction to their wants and needs, and help ensure they have the necessary tools and support to reach their goals.
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