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• Served as the Pianist in the Jeff Peronto Jazz Orchestra 2013 - 2015
• Co-Directed and served as the piano instructor for "Live Soundz on Saturdays" Jazz Education Progr
• Led an Artist in Residency at Marquette Elementary School sponsored by MMSD and Madison Jazz Socie
• Private Piano Instructor 2009 – present
• Jazz Pianist Edgewood College Jazz Ensemble 2010 - 2012
I have been offering music education since 2009, where I have had the luxury to work, learn and play with students, other fellow musicians and experience music education in a variety of environments and platforms whether in person or via the internet. I am a self-taught musician, beginning at Edgewood College, where I served as the pianist in the Jazz Ensemble. After college, I had the opportunity to play professionally for several years; as the pianist in the Jeff Peronto Jazz Orchestra (Big Band) and also was the pianist for a period of time with Madison, WI Jazz Club "Cafe' Coda" owner, Hanah Jon Taylor in the Hanah Jon Taylor Artet (Jazz Combo). I have performed in solo piano settings at numerous events, ranging from weddings to fundraisers. Referencing my teaching studio, I am fully capable of offering in person piano lessons as well as on-line piano lessons utilizing my home studio.
My teaching experience dates back to my college days, as I began teaching privately in 2009, and have been consistently teaching students inside and on-line from my home studio for the last 7 years. Committing to consistent practice as your schedule allows is one of the key points I emphasize for all students regardless of age, as only the consistency will help you progress, after all music is a language. My approach has always evolved and adapted as I learn new concepts and techniques, however I would summarize my approach to teaching piano as focusing on rhythmic development, playing-by ear with music reading supports and adding the perspective that the piano is a percussion instrument.
Taking the teaching perspective that the piano is a percussion instrument, my instructional focuses are on rhythmic development where I use drumming patterns, hemiolas and other metronome tactics to develop your time. I am a Jazz musician, however going deeper means I use music to communicate as a language, taking the language development metaphor further, I use scales, arpeggios, movements, melodies and song forms, just to name a few as methods to communicate or improvise, both with the audience and other musicians. My goal is teach you to be able communicate (improvise, listen and respond) through a 3-step process, which includes; 1. Imitation: Listening and Learning lines by ear, Transcribing solos. Absorbing a player’s feel, articulation, and time. 2. Assimilation, which means ingraining these stylistic nuances, harmonic devices, and lines that you’ve transcribed into your musical conception. Not just mentally understanding them on the surface level, but truly connecting them to your ear and body. This is where the hours of dedication and work come in. Lastly, 3. Innovation, which is the direct result of hours upon hours of imitation and assimilation. The great innovators have spent countless hours studying harmony, solos, form, tunes, etc. in order to realize their own personal concept, or their own SOUND. (These 3 steps are in fact the 3 steps of development as a musician created by trumpeter Clark Terry)
As an educator I do my best to imitate the most impactful learning sessions I have experienced during my tenure, and most if not all of those learning opportunities stemmed from an educator who carried 3 characteristics, also know as the definition of Cool. These characteristics include, being Kind, Honest and Fearless. As a teacher I have to be honest, both with my student's current musical capacity and also with how I am planning to help them progress. I have to exhibit a sense of Fearlessness as an essential approach to playing this music, meaning encouraging my students to take risks, to challenge yourself creatively and to maintain an understanding that there is always something new to learn. The last aspect is Kindness, it's only through vulnerability that you learn, and in order for me to ask you to be vulnerable I have to do it kindly.
Excellent piano teacher! Took lessons from him from him on and off for 12 years, lots of rhythm and a genuine great time!
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