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Bachelor Degree: East Carolina University
2019 - Peabody Conservatory Artistic Excellence Award
2014 - East Carolina University School of Music Scholarship
I started saxophone when I was in 6th grade, but I would say my musical journey truly began when I reached high school. I found a teacher in my hometown of York Pennsylvania who's values perfectly aligned with mine. His methods are still a part of my every-day routine and I have made it my mission to share them with everyone I can. In 2014 I moved to North Carolina to pursue my bachelors in Jazz Performance. While there I had the incredible privilege of playing with the ECU Jazz Ensemble and Billy Tailor Combo at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival for 3 years in a row.
My formal teaching experience began at East Carolina University in my undergraduate years. I had the opportunity to work as an instructor for the Jazz Track at the ECU Summer Music Camp for four years before I moved on to graduate school at Peabody Conservatory. Additionally I've taught many private lessons in North Carolina and York Pennsylvania. I am proud to say my students have received honors including first chair in NCMEA All-District Jazz Ensemble as well as the ECU School of Music Scholarship.
My methods are different for every student, but I always start with fundamentals. This includes scales, exercises to improve sound and intonation, reading, writing, improvisation, and most importantly listening. Depending on the path the student choses, some areas will be focused on more than others. I will often introduce more advanced concepts early if the student displays interest in them. I am not the kind of instructor who will say "play your etudes first and then we can talk about improvisation." I almost quit shortly after I started music because I had an instructor with that outlook. No concept is too 'advanced' to simplify.
As an instructor, my job is to give the student every opportunity possible to discover their passion for music. The first lesson is always about providing a safe relaxed tone and finding out where that student's progress is. Not establishing an accurate assessment of their progress can be very destructive because it could cause me to come off as either too demanding or condescending. Depending on what their level is, I will design a custom curriculum to bring their weaknesses to the same level as their strengths. At this point I will work with the student to help them achieve goals they set for themselves and guide them down the path that they want to take.
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