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Music is my life, and is something that I want to share with others! Because of that, I try my best to give positive experiences to all of my students. I have a byline that says "Music is Much More than Just Learning Notes." I believe that! Anyone can learn notes, fingerings, etc. What I try to do is add that "soul" element that each person has and cultivate that into meaningful music!
So, with all that said, here's what I try to instill:
A lesson is a place to share! I listen to students as well as teach. We all have something we can learn from each other!
While I want lessons to be fun and informative, I strive for complete understanding, which means any student will gain the needed mechanics with complete knowledge of why things happen and what they do to and for music. From there, I attempt to teach the "soul" of music and how emotion and spirit play a huge part in memorable music.
I don't believe in brow-beating, but I also don't want to pass over things. I don't believe practice makes perfect, but I do believe practice increases awareness!
I really try hard to help students move beyond the notes on the page. We may listen to music and describe how it makes us feel, or paint pictures both physical and mental of what the music is showing us. That is where I see the soul stepping in.
As stated before, I started on a little Magnus Organ. My grandmother told me years later that I would listen to television jingles and then try to play them on the organ!
Once we settled in our permanant home, my parents brought home a piano and I began working first with Robert Warnick, a local music teacher in the schools. He taught scales and chords. Then, Midge Bishop took me through John Thompson Grade 3, but then had to move away. Finally, I studied under Victoria Hope, lasting 13 years until I went on to college. She taught me the fine art of piano by continually challenging me to approach each piece as an artwork. She had me use the music to paint the picture. Naturally, the element of the soul came through as I put color to music.
Throughout my elementary through high school days, I immersed myself in band, choir and drama. I played piano at church starting very young. I then began trombone in the band during 4th grade. Upon entering high school, I joined choir and participated in marching band, concert band, pep band and jazz band. During those years, I picked up the rest of the brass instruments as needed by my band director. In choir, I excelled both in voice and on piano through accompaniment. Later in high school, I joined up with the drama department where we ultimately had the opportunity to write our own musical. By the time I entered college, I had mastered all the brass instruments, piano and snare drum.
During college, I participated in the marching band, wind ensemble, jazz band, pep band, trombone choir, several pit orchestras, and the symphony orchestra. I also participated in the choir.
Since that time, I have mastered the woodwinds, organ, drum set guitar and bass guitar and a little violin. I have over 25 years experience teaching lessons. They occurred off and on throughout my younger days.
Private lessons on all instruments and voices, Music Theory, Music History, Art History, Architectural History, Acting, set building, lighting and sound.
Piano, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Baritone, Tuba, Voice, alto and tenor saxophone, percussion
1984-89 Bachelor of Science in K-12 Music Education
(Choral, Instrumental and General)
Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
1991-95 Master of Divinity in Theology and Ministry
Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana
5 through 114 (I haven't seen anyone older, have you?) I believe it is a good idea that a child can read the written word. Reading music occurs in similar ways.
*** Lesson Details ***
I ask lots of questions so I can get to know you better. This is also an opportunity for you ask questions of me. At the beginning, I encourage parents to attend so they can see what these lessons entail. I give you assignments to work with and then you play them for me to receive praise and constructive suggestions. I also try to challenge my students to move beyond the normal curriculum to play other things that interest them.
Depending on the instrument and the experience you have helps me determine what curriculum I want to use. Again, I cater my lessons to the needs you have and by how you like to learn!
After 3 to 6 mos, I hope you have a good working knowledge of how music works and are now moving into intermediate level work. However, each student is different and work a different speeds. My main goal is for you to feel successful whenever you leave my studio!
*** Studio Equipment ***
Baby Grand Piano, electronic Keyboard, Drum Set, Snare Drum
Alex was born May 31, 1987. Since both of his parents were band directors, he grew up in a very musically inclined family. When he was 15 years old, during his freshman year of high school, he started studying percussion. A year later he began studying under Chad Kohler and continued to do so until 2009. During spring semester of 2009 he studied briefly under Richard Walker at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). In the fall of that year he then transferred to Butler University for an academic year and studied under Craig Hetrick and Jon Crabiel.
Beginning in 2011 Alex began studying attending University of Indianapolis and is currently studying under Paul Berns as well as Art Reiner. In addition to studying with them he has also went back to continue to study with his mentor Chad Kohler. In the time since Alex graduated high school, he has been continuously presented with teaching opportunities. At the time, though, music was not looking like the best course of action for him. With the aid of Chad Kohler, Alex then began getting more involved with teaching percussion. Alex eventually went on to arranging his own parts for his students, as well as composing original percussion ensemble pieces. In the time since he has been out of high school, he has taught at a number of schools including the Lynhurst 7th & 8th Grade Center, North Putnam Jr./Sr. High School, Broad Ripple Magnet School for the Arts & Humanities, and Lawrence Central. He is currently the percussion director at Arlington High School.
When it comes to teaching music, what is known to be as the “Holy Trinity” comes to mind. While teaching I personally believe that it is important to challenge students just enough so that they are not discouraged and are still able to have fun.
The Holy Trinity plays a big role in this. What it consists of is embracing your students from all angles. This would be from ensembles and private lessons, which in turn then encourage them to practice. Ensemble, private lessons, and practicing are the three main categories that make up the “Holy Trinity.” And in using this, you can also be more involved with your students as well. It is always a good idea be friend your students as well and not just be the “teacher.” There is a great quote that goes like this, “They will never care about how much you know, until they know how much you care.” In which case has been proven to be very true time and time again.
It is important as a teacher to be able to inspire your students and to encourage them. Which is why I think it is important to be a good friend as well to your students. This way a kind of trust is formed and in turn can easily lead to the success of a music program. Also I do believe that it is important to expose students to as many forms of music as possible. This way they are not just stuck in one kind of mind set and if they choose to go into music for their career, then they have many different experiences they can pull and relate from. Plus they will also have some more knowledge of different cultures and music genres that can help not only create better music but also be more overall worldly in their personal life out side of music. Being able to learn about music is very important, and can easily impact a student’s life in many different ways that most subjects just do not have the capability to. This is what I believe about learning music and why I also love to teach it. I want my students to be able to have all the same great experiences I have had and more. Which is why I personally believe so heavily in a good music education.
*** Lesson Details ***
Although the approach to teaching that I use comes across as being pretty laid back, I do expect what some might consider to be a lot out of my students. This is because I want to make sure that my students will be successful as musicians.
While a student is studying with me; they will learn about percussion from multiple angles. They will learn and be able to understand many basic music theory terms and principles. They will also learn how each percussion instrument is tied to one another in technique and how to easily transition from instrument to instrument.
Depending on the age of the student, after about three months of studying with me, the student will know a few major scales, most of the standard American rudiments, and some basic drum set concepts. After 6 months, the student will know all 12 major scales, be familiar with all 40 snare drum rudiments, and know a good portion of basic drum set.
Please keep in mind that results may vary depending on the age of the student and the amount of practicing they do on their own. Results also depend upon whether or not they are practicing correctly, which is something they will also learn how to do with me.
*** Studio Equipment ***
In-studio lessons in basement with acoustic drum set. Street parking or drive way. Seating available for parents.
Lessons at the High School will be in the band room with their equipment.
*** Specialties ***
I mostly specialize in marching percussion as well as 2 and 4 mallet percussion.
I have been a percussionist for 20 years and love teaching young students. I am currently a high school music teacher in downtown Indianapolis. I am proficient at playing and teaching all areas of percussion including concert, machine, jazz, rock, and world. I also enjoy teaching all ages and skill levels from beginner to advanced.
"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."