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BM, Berklee College of Music, Music Production and Engineering
I have been a musician for most of my life and I've learned a lot. After college, I moved to LA and had a successful 20+ year career as a composer and music editor for film and tv. Commercial writing gives you another way to study and learn music as you are asked to write whatever style the production needs. I took each opportunity to explore a new style, a new instrument, and new technology. I also played all of the instruments on the music I wrote. I now live in New York and write my own music, but once in a while I still get a call to write for a Hollywood production.
I started giving lessons in High School. In my last year at Berklee I worked as a teachers aid in their new Songwriting major, which stressed that students learn the technology needed for most musicians to function in a recording studio, and to learn the basics of multitrack recording, MIDI, and production. After college, I moved to New York and worked as the assistant director of education for the Sam Ash Music Institute. I was responsible for building the school curriculum. I and a staff put together classrooms for private and ensemble lessons. The following year I moved to LA. One of my first jobs there was at Bryan Lee Music, a music store that offered lessons on most instruments. I taught there for a year before landing a job at the Trebas Institute of Recording Technology in Hollywood, where I was a student advisor. The next few jobs lead me to becoming a composer for film and tv. I still managed to teach when my schedule was light. I had students at the Burbank Music Academy, a School of Rock. With all of this diversity, I can take a student wherever her or she wants to go.
While a student is developing hand coordination, I like to keep them interested in other aspects of music. Scales can be boring, but they are needed. I encourage the students to read and write music. It's important to get good at notation early on. I also like to bring songwriting into the mix. Creative people have ideas that they want to get out. I try to develop ideas and show the options that most students don't realize they have.
Music, and the arts, deserve respect. I show students that there is a fun side and a serious side to music. It's not a competition. It's a puzzle unique to each musician on his or her journey. The reward is priceless.
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