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BM, Western Michigan University, Jazz Performance
2007 - Outstanding soloist, Notre Dame Jazz Festival 2008 - Outstanding performance, Detroit Jazz Festival
I can remember the first time I heard the music of John Coltrane. I was thirteen and had just begun learning saxophone. His music was deeply moving and inspired me to pursue a life of music - specifically jazz saxophone. Best decision I've ever made! I graduated from Western Michigan University with a BM in Jazz Saxophone Performance. While in school I had the privilege of sharing the stage with many jazz greats including Bobby McFerrin, Randy Brecker, Stefon Harris, Fred Hersch, and many more. Shortly after graduating, my wife and I moved to Chicago where we have been performing together with our band The Winchester Sound, at venues such as Andy's Jazz Club, Untitled, Londonhouse, etc. I am extremely passionate about music and love sharing my knowledge with others!
I began teaching private students many years ago when I was in college. I quickly realized that teaching was extremely fulfilling, in a completely different way than performing. With teaching I am able to give back to the community and help to inspire students in the way I was inspired as a child. Pursuing music completely changed the direction of my life, and I hope to share that experience with others. Today I have a full saxophone studio and enjoy daily lessons with my wonderful students. I believe that I learn as much from them as they do from me!
I believe every student pursues music for a different reason, so I approach every student with a custom curriculum. For all students I stress the importance of scales, arpeggios, ear training and scale patterns (3rds, 4ths, etc) to improve technical facility from the beginning. For beginners I typically use the Rubank Edute book to begin reading music. All students are introduced to 'Top Tones for the Saxophone' by Rascher early on to improve range, intonation, breath support and tone quality. Jazz students will learn jazz/pop theory, jazz standards, and how to successfully navigate a lead sheet. Most importantly, I want the lessons to be fun and dynamic, so I teach my students exactly what they want to learn!
The most important aspect of teaching music is to keep the student excited and engaged! I want my students to be eager to learn. I keep all lessons fun and casual, but stress the importance of hard work. I always encourage daily practice sessions, even if just for 15 - 20 minutes. Repetition is key! I discuss our goals for the lessons (what do you want to get out of the lesson? why do you want to learn saxophone?) and strive to meet our goals. I am very high energy and we will cover a lot in our lessons, but I promise it will always be enjoyable and relaxing! If you're not having fun you're not doing it right!
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