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BM, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Jazz Piano Performance
BME, University of Illinois (U-C), Music Education: General Music focus
2013 - University of Illinois Merit Scholarship
2017 - Performed with University of Illinois Latin Jazz Ensemble at Notre Dame Jazz Festival
2018 - Hayt Elementary School Student Teacher, taught 600 students Pre K-8th grade, conducted in assembly
Each of my days begins and ends with music, and I'm always excited to share my passion with anyone. While attending University of Illinois, I was a part of the Illini Mentoring Program for 2 years, where I worked alongside at-risk youth in an after-school volunteer organization to foster one-on-one relationships, promote learning, and have fun with the mentees. I truly loves performing music live for others, and while at U of I was part of various groups through the college such as the UI Latin Jazz Band (led by Tito Carrillo) and the Black Chorus (led by Dr. Ollie Watts-Davis), along with numerous independent bands such, such as my project, Square Donuts, along with others' bands, such as Chris Moors' group, Cosmology. Special interests of mine outside of music include playing soccer, cooking, bike riding, seeing concerts, photography, meeting new people, and of course, hanging out with friends. I can't wait to get to meet you and help you discover your potential with piano!
My music teaching experience began all the way back in 2011 when I got to be a section leader for the Charleston Trojans Marching Band alto saxophones section. My interest in piano grew and my most current teaching experience was student teaching at Hayt Elementary School in Chicago, IL (in CPS). I got to teach lessons in music to classes of 25-30 students for 8 hours a day, and did everything from singing songs to playing piano, but everything to get children experiencing music and tapping into their potential. Other experiences I have teaching include being a Mentor in Illini Mentoring Program (mentioned above), along with being a part of the UofI-Juvenile Detention Center Arts Project in spring of 2017. This coalition formed of UI students and professors helped to generate meaningful musical experiences for incarcerated youth, providing them with a possibility to be kids again in trying times, and to promote restorative justice. Since 2017, I have gotten the opportunity to teach lessons here and their to peers (college age), but I'm ready to delve into the exciting world of private teaching and help share my knowledge and passion for music with others ready to learn.
Effective teaching caters to each student's unique needs and learning styles. This is why although I prefer the Music Tree series of method books, I'm also flexible and observant to determine the best possible approach on a student-by-student basis. My goal is to instill a genuine, passion for music in my students, and also to help develop well-rounded musicians. Whether you want to play Mozart, write songs, or play in a jazz band, I want to give you the tools you need to make the most of that situation. This is why in addition to method books, I supplement lessons with an array of other materials, depending on the situation, including sight-reading, theory, ear training, and even composition and improvisation. Yes, reading music is at the heart of many musical endeavors, and yet, there's so much more to explore.
Effective teaching needs to be a give and take between the student and the teacher. I am knowledgeable and experienced in performing jazz, classical, and various pop genres of music, and yet, students bring a fresh perspective to a piano lesson. I like to challenge and excite students in developmentally appropriate ways by giving them a mix of music that they choose and music that I think is necessary for their growth as a musician. My goal is to help everyone realize their innate musical potential, for all it takes is strategic practice and patience to get better at piano. I pride myself in my ability to find practice regimens that work for various levels of time commitment on the student's end, as well as having an extensive knowledge in jazz music.
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