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Don grew up in Indianapolis, and began his musical interest in church as a 9 year old. "Most everyone sang the melody during the song service, and I wanted to be different. So I started picking out parts to sing by ear." His first formal music began in the fifth grade when he took up the trumpet. From there he became involved in band and choir in high school and went on to major in music at Tennessee Temple College in Chattanooga. Later he earned a master's degree in music from Butler University, and studied voice and choral conducting at Pensacola Christian College for 2 summers.
He has traveled across most of the eastern United States as part of a college ensemble from 3 different colleges. He has performed in and directed numerous church musicals as well as performing in 2 college musicals.
Don has been a church music director, and has taught elementary, Jr. High and High School band and choir for 10 years. His own formal lessons have been in piano, trumpet, voice, and guitar, but Don studied all the band instruments in order to teach young band members to better play their instrument. He has also taught music on the college level for 15 years in courses such as voice, piano, trumpet, music history, music theory, etc.
Don is also a composer and arranger of numerous sacred choral pieces, and has written 4 Christmas cantatas, complete with drama.
Don and his wife have three sons, all of which followed his example and earned degrees in music, and are now active in performing or teaching music.
*** Lesson Details ***
I believe that classical literature is an important basis for any music lessons. But I also want students to perform music that they enjoy. So I use a balance of both. For beginners, I use the basic methods books, but within a few weeks try to bring in music that the student will enjoy.
I believe one of the most important aspects of teaching music, is to create a love of music in the student. To be successful a student must practice because his/she loves music, not because he/she is forced to prepare for a lesson.
Subjects taught- voice, piano, trumpet, trombone, baritone (euphonium), french horn, tuba, clarinet, saxophone, music theory, music history, song writing.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Piano, band instruments, recording equipment
*** Specialties ***
Sacred music, classical
I am a certified music teacher and board certified music therapist. I began teaching private piano lessons 8 years ago during my undergraduate degree. I attended William Paterson University and received a degree in music education. Upon graduating, I received the William Paterson University 2010 Outstanding Classical Performer award. I recently earned my master's degree in music therapy at Montclair State University, where I was awarded the David Ott Scholarship for Outstanding Music Therapy Intern. Learning music therapy has given me deeper insight into my teaching. My favorite part of music is the learning process. I enjoy performing music, but I personally get more out of learning it. Teaching allows me to be involved in the learning process with other people. I can assess a student's abilities and develop plans and materials that address his or her musical needs. A deep understanding of music and the learning process guides me during my lessons, and I enjoy guiding students through their musical struggles and victories. In addition to classical piano, I also play upright bass in a bluegrass band and keyboards in a rock band. I also play acoustic guitar in my spare time and in music therapy sessions. Most of my students are piano students, but I can also teach guitar and bass.
*** Lesson Details ***
Since each person is different, my lessons are tailored to the individual. I don't have set lesson plans that all of my students adhere to. The lessons are designed to fulfill each individual student's unique needs. My specialty is in classical music, so my students learn how to read sheet music. I also provide a solid foundation in music theory, piano technique, and interpretation. I'm laid back and easy to get along with, but I do expect my students to practice. I see my role as a musical guide. That means that I can help students who want to learn, but I can't make anyone learn music. The more you put into music, the more you get out of it. When my students take my advice during the lessons and practice at home, they progress quite quickly.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I will provide music books, staff paper, pencil. I expect the student to have an instrument of decent quality to have a lesson on.
*** Specialties ***
I'm primarily a classical pianist with experience playing in a variety of settings. I play in a rock band, I've done musicals, and I play upright bass in a folk/jazz band. I have an in depth understanding of music theory and moderate understanding of jazz harmony.
I don't adhere to any one specific teaching method. I find that since every individual is unique, individualized teaching approaches are necessary to suit a student's personal needs.
I am an ERYT200 Yoga Instructor, A.A.S. Vocal Performance. I am also a working singer/songwriter and recording artist. I have spent the past ten plus years teaching ages three to seventy-five and am comfortable with all demographics and ages. I have spent the past ten years immersed in very different communities and demographics nationwide.
"Steven is very professional and extremely helpful. He always has a smile on and is serious about helping you phrase the music. I would highly recommend him to anyone."
"It's been really exciting so far! Jordan has been so helpful, so knowledgeable. I could not have found a better instructor and I'm getting better and better every day."
"My daughter's wedding was weeks away and I had never been able to dance a step. With Jenny's help, I came further than ever before in such short time in any subject."