A LITTLE ABOUT ME
I have always been naturally drawn to listening and playing music. Music brings me joy and as a teacher one of my goals is to inspire students to experience the same joy I get from making music. I enjoy traveling and experiencing cultures that are new to me. I find music is a great way to connect and share with others as well as form relationships with inspiring people. Because I have learned from many great music educators, I have learned several effective teaching methods that I believe can help those seeking guidance while on their musical path. I have also been fortunate to have played and performed with many great musicians that continue to inspire me.
I attended the Eastman School of Music (B.M., 2007) where I studied jazz saxophone with Walt Weiskopf and classical saxophone with Chien-Kwan Lin. After completing my degree, I became a full time production assistant and stage manager at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Returning to academia, I received a master of music degree in jazz performance (M.M., 2011) from the elite Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. While in Miami I studied jazz saxophone with Gary Keller and jazz piano with Whit Sidner. I has also studied with Jason Goldman and Russell Ferrante (Yellowjackets).
I am currently working and living in Los Angeles and can be booked for Teaching (Private or Classroom), Saxophone Workshops, and Guest Lectures.
MY TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
Inherent in the accessible allure of music is the freedom for persons to cultivate mental processes that aid in the development of independent and creative thinking as well as autonomy. Utilized as a possible conception of reality, musical experiences can educate persons’ emotional intelligence and ways of knowing. Music educators must embrace this responsibility with the noblest intentions as music can become a personal narrative for life and influence as well as inform individuals’ inner dialogue inherent to the human condition. An ally in education of a more knowing citizen, music can serve as an invaluable experience for individuals as well as humanity.
Cultivating meaningful and collaborative relationships between students and teachers as well as instances that afford context and application transference will greatly enhance development of independent and creative minds within citizens. Mentorship, small group collaboration, and building strong vested interests in learning are just a few of the primary characteristics that should be emphasized in music educational learning experiences. Future contributors to a healthy, successful, and sustainable society outside the professional field of music will utilize and benefit from the same cognition building processes involved in the study of music.
It is possible that experiencing art is also able to strengthen cognitive processes that lead to innovative thinking as it builds convergent and divergent thinking. Innovation often drives economies. Technology serves as an advantageous platform for such efforts and should be utilized meaningfully and appropriately in musical practices as well as performances. Citizens may also become more capable of making creative and lasting contributions while pursing their life endeavors. We cannot just produce more artists; we need to produce an audience that wants to experience art. Art can become a way of life and contribute to the fulfillment of any citizen’s potential as well as aid in the pursuit of their endeavors.
GOALS AS A TEACHER
My goal as a teacher is to teach each student in a way that allows them to learn how to teach themselves so they don’t need me!
I like my students to tell me what they would like to get from taking lessons. I then integrate what they want to learn with what I think they should learn. While learning a song or piece of music, I teach the student pertinent music concepts and saxophone technique. I find giving students scales and exercises to learn without context is often discouraging for them because they are not sure why and how they apply in other music situations. Providing an educational context allows each student to build upon music concepts while having fun working towards their musical goals.
I expect my students to show up on time whether the lesson is in person or through Skype. Students must show that effort has been made towards learning and completing their assignments. I will always treat students with respect and do my best to create a positive learning environment and I expect the same in return from the student.
STYLE, METHODS & TOPICS
With private students, I customize my teaching methods to how each student best learns. I have several methods to teach most music concepts and saxophone technique so that I can better connect with each student’s learning style. I find students have a more enjoyable experience when I give them the chance to learn what they would like to play. Often for students with less experience playing jazz, I first have them identify a musician they enjoy listening to and begin exploring what makes that player great and unique. Learning how to sound like (to some degree) the student’s role model helps to give them a context and approachable goals. With all of my students, I like to work on sound production, articulation, stylistic considerations, rhythmic feel, and jazz vocabulary. I use the jazz repertoire to build and enhance harmonic recognition and improvisational abilities. I really like to tailor my teaching to the students goals and how they learn best.
GENERAL LESSON TOPICS FOR INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCED STUDENTS (Not Limited to):
- Sound/Tone Production and Development
- Effective Warm-Up Exercises
- Bebop Vocabulary
- Modern Vocabulary
- Chord Substitutions
- Triad Pairs
- Chord Scale relationships
- Active Listening
- Practice Strategies
- Developing Rhythm
- Developing Technique
If a student needs to cancel and or reschedule a lesson, I must be notified a minimum of 24hrs before the original lesson time. If the cancellation occurs less than 24hrs before the original lesson time, I reserve the right to schedule the make up lesson when it is convenient for me. If for some reason I must reschedule a lesson, I will work around the student's schedule and find a time that works for both parties.