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BA, University of Connecticut, Psychology
2016 - Excellence in Psychology
I have been playing guitar for 10 years and saxophone for 14 years. When I started saxophone I signed up for private lessons and I joined concert band, jazz band, and pep band, I have loved music ever since! Guitar became my next obsession, I began writing my own songs and attending guitar workshops. I currently play guitar more often than saxophone but I am always happy to play both of these instruments. Performing and writing music are still my favorite parts of life and I enjoy sharing these experiences with all types of musicians. I recently graduated from the University of Connecticut with my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. Although I did not choose to major in music I was still able to perform in dozens of concerts during my time at college. My psychology training has transformed the way I think about music and I believe psychology has made me a very effective teacher as well!
I started playing guitar at age 13 and by age 16 I was already teaching lessons! My martial arts instructor told me his daughter wanted to learn guitar and she became my first student. Every week I arrived early to martial arts and I taught her guitar for 1 hour. At the first lesson she was a complete beginner and after a couple weeks she was able to player entire Taylor Swift songs! This is partly because of my teaching but mainly because she was a dedicated student and she frequently practiced the songs and exercises outside of our lessons. This great experience with my first student motivated me to teach more and I have gone on to help kids, teenagers, and college students improve their guitar skills.
I believe that learning music is most beneficial when it is 50% discipline and 50% creativity. My students are able to use discipline to pursue their creative goals. For example, if a student wants to create extremely fast guitar solos, they must first learn to play a scale extremely fast. Once their basic scales are up to speed, I will provide them with dexterity exercises which improve the precision and flexibility of their fingers. I will also have them examine their favorite guitar solos to see which elements give them the most inspiration. It is important to practice the fundamentals with a creative goal in mind, this is how musicians grow!
I have a very open minded and flexible teaching style. I ask my students why they love playing music and I focus on the skills that they want to improve. When I have students who want to perform on stage, I challenge them to play guitar without looking at the strings so that they will focus on the audience. I also encourage them to stand up and move around even while they are practicing so they will be more engaging during the real concert. If my student wants to write their own songs I will teach them about composition and song structure. I will teach them how to choose chord progressions and write catchy melodies. If my student wants to play guitar and sing, I can also help them write original lyrics. I believe the best method of teaching is to customize a lesson plan for each individual student so their specific needs are met!
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