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2017 - Jeffrey Hoke Memorial Scholarship for Percussionists
I am currently a Jazz Studies/Music Performance Major with an emphasis on drum set at Northern Illinois University. I recently completed my third year and will soon begin my third year. I have a passion for performing and can be seen performing with multiple bands in the DeKalb area and in the Chicago area. Major performances/recordings include the following: Waukegan Symphony Orchestra (2016), PASIC Artist (2018), and one studio recording with the band Warped Wonder (2019). I have studied under the following professionals in the field: Brian "Choppy" Massimo, Brendan Harder, Ben Wahlund, Gregory Beyer, and Rodrigo Villanueva.
I began teaching privately during the spring of 2018. I taught private orchestral percussion and drum set lessons at my home studio as well as high schools in the area. Since then, I accepted a position as a summer music instructor at Lakes Community High School in Lake Villa, IL. I taught 5th - 8th graders who were interested in getting more involved in their own music programs. I am eager to find more opportunities to spread music within various communities. I would not be where I am today without the help of music educators, and I would like to give that back to someone else.
For beginning students, I like to stress fundamentals with a twist. I encourage my students to play along with music they like to keep them interested in what they are practicing. As the student progresses, I will either compose a short solo or provide a short solo in which they can apply fundamentals to.
For intermediate and more advanced students, I like to let them guide their own instruction. After coming to me with topics they'd like to learn more about, I will provide exercises, musical examples, and pieces to help them assimilate what they have learned with me, to real-world examples. After all, music is the best teacher of music.
I strive to ignite passion in my students. With passion, a student will be able to express themselves musically in any way they would like through their instrument. By doing so, these students may go out into the real-world and say what they need to say and communicate with other musicians. This will not only develop their musical sense but also will develop their personality and their way of life. I encourage hard work and persistence. Acknowledgement and rewards are often given when I am shown that they have studied the material to a level that is appropriate for their skill level.
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