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MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ethnomusicology MM, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Percussion Performance BS, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Alternative Education Certificate of Advanced Study, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Leonard Sorkin Institute of Chamber Music
I love performing and teaching. These are my twin passions--my calling, if you will. I stay active doing and improving both of these areas. I also have a broad range of musical interests and knowledge that I bring to every lesson, as well as to every performance. I can play and teach reggae music, for example, but I also provide a history and cultural context of the style--information that leads to better, more authentic performances.
I am a long-time musician and educator; I have been doing both professionally since I was sixteen-years-old. My first student was my band director's son. My first gig was with a polka band. I now have a master’s degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a master’s degree in music performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee along with a certificate of advanced study in chamber music. Additionally, I have been a professional musician for forty years, versed in many styles, and have a good reputation among musicians within the State of Wisconsin and the greater Midwest. I regularly play for national acts who visit the area, including Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra Jr., Joan Rivers, Dennis DeYoung of Styx, and many more.
First things first. We will use our ears to learn music before we spend time reading what music looks like on paper. This is especially true when learning to play the drum set. How many rock or jazz drummers do you see reading music on stage? This is not because they can't, rather it shows that drum set playing is more about interpreting music--not necessarily playing it exactly the same all the time. This skill involves our ears, not our eyes. No matter what level of experience a student has or what goals they would like to pursue, my method is to grow whatever skills are present and to develop those that are missing. You must love music, otherwise you wouldn’t have read so far into this biography. Let’s learn to play the music you love.
I have a patient and laid-back personality, but am adamant that students practice consciously and often. Research shows that a repeated task done with an engaged mind is embedded deeper and more securely than a task repeated half-heartedly.
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