Bachelor Degree: Virginia Commonwealth University
2021 Jazz For Justice Scholarship
2020 Jazz For Justice Scholarship
2021/2022 Jazz Orchestra 1 Lead Tenor Sax
2020/2021 Jazz Orchestra 1 Lead Tenor Sax
2019/2020 Jazz Orchestra 1 2nd Tenor Sax
I am a recent VCUarts Music graduate. My concentration was jazz saxophone. I have been playing saxophone for over 20 years, but the last four years have been intense, as I was working diligently to complete my music degree. I have been a member of several small jazz ensembles since 2019, and I also served as lead tenor saxophonist in VCU's Jazz Orchestra I for two years. My biggest takeaway from VCU is that I have a genuine love for music, and I am committed to spending the rest of my life learning about it. I am excited to share my knowledge and experience with others.
My teaching experience dates back to 2014, when I taught massage therapy for a year. During that time, I realized that I have a true passion for sharing my knowledge with others. I have also taught photography lessons, as well as private music lessons. My greatest joy in teaching is creating a safe space for students to learn and grow. As someone who has been a student for many years, I understand the importance of feeling safe to take risks, make mistakes, and grow from these experiences. My music professors at VCU created this safety for me, and it built my self-confidence. I look forward to passing that gift along to my students.
For beginning elementary and middle school students I usually use Hal Leonard's Essential Elements. Once my student has a working knowledge of the fundamentals, I introduce music that will build confidence and keep the student's interest. Although I am using a method book, it is just a guide. Along the way, I may supplement the book with other exercises to work on specific techniques. For adults, I first assess my student's skill level, and we talk about goals and a realistic practice schedule. Then I tailor my curriculum to fit my student's needs. It is important to me that I set my students up for success.
I have a deep love for music because of the powerful role it has played in my life. It has healed me, strengthened me, and given me a sense of purpose. I want to pass that along to my students. It is the greatest joy to see my students progress past what they thought they were capable of. My goal with teaching is to take my students on a journey that goes beyond learning the fundamentals. I want to train a generation of musicians who are able to skillfully express their full range of emotions through their chosen instrument. I believe that starts with a foundation of support, persistence, and consistency. I teach my students by approaching skills and musical concepts with patience and clear intent to progress to a higher level. I am cautious to not overwhelm students by piling them with music that is way beyond their skill level. Instead, I work with them to consistently take steps forward.