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I am a summa cum laude graduate of both the University of Evansville's (IN) celebrated Music Therapy program, with two years of piano pedagogy training and Georgia State University’s Vocal Music Education graduate program. I have performed across the country with an extensive range of professional and student musicians and have served as faculty accompanist with several universities. For over two decades, I have worked as a church musician, directing choirs of all ages and serving as both organist and pianist.
My studios have expanded successfully to as many as 80 private students (from ages 5-90 at both beginning and advanced levels) along with small group classes, and I have taught thousands of students throughout my 26 years of experience as a music educator. I am also the former organist for the National Christian Choir, based in Washington, D.C. and have extensive experience with recording studio work as a vocalist and pianist. I am a former high school choral teacher and recently taught for three years at a Georgia middle school, earning straight superior ratings in all contests and an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall in May.
I love to teach beginners (of all ages!) and also love to coach older teens in their pursuit of success with various auditions in both piano and voice. I am also passionate about training young pianists to accompany! I have just transitioned to Michigan due to my husband's new position in Detroit. I have three daughters: twins who are a violist and cellist and a daughter studying veterinary medicine. I am a music teacher at The Grosse Pointe Academy and am the Artistic Director of the Detroit Children's Choir.
My music education philosophy can be wrapped up in two words: individual musicianship. I truly believe and have experienced the truth that all human beings are capable of producing and understanding music and, therefore, must be given maximum opportunity to do so. To ignore development of musical intelligence is to fail as educators. Therefore, my goals for each student are individual and comprehensive, wrapped in hope and rooted in encouragement. I aim to create a safe, warm, fun and caring atmosphere in the learning environment.
*** Lesson Details ***
An emphasis of lessons with me, based on my philosophy of independent musicianship, will include learning to read music notation fluently in a systematic way: vocalists using solfege and sight reading, and pianists integrating music theory with songs being played so they can become fluent readers of all music they love. My ultimate goal is to provide the optimum chance for each student to develop a life-long understanding and independent enjoyment of music, which I believe is essential to life.
I plan to choose repertoire and curriculum that is expressive, artistic, allows for musical growth and success in performance, provides critical thinking opportunities, lyrics/texts that teach quality (in the case of vocal music), can provide an aesthetic experience as enhanced by musical elements, and is derived from various cultures, periods of history, languages, and genres. The repertoire will come primarily from a foundation of classical genres with student choice pieces as well, in the genre of their favorite music, applying all of the basics that have been learned from other curriculum.
One might walk into a lesson and see a buzz of activity from learning "games” to the student creating a theory worksheet, to counting of eighth notes and stomping in figuring out a hard rhythmic passage, to a diminuendo into the nothing of silence. A vocal student might be learning some breathing exercises that improve vocal technique and finding the correct pitch through the kinesthetic use of solfege hand signs; the piano student might be in the guided process of breaking down the "hard spot" into small bits so success can be achieved in the lesson and then repeated at home. I desire active engagement of the student with well-defined goals for home practice. I will plan any activities that might be effective in bringing each student into understanding and joy in creating beautiful music to the best of his/her ability and sharing it with others in performance as desired.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Baldwin concert grand piano
*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect the student to purchase their own music as assigned and to have a keyboard to practice on or with as well as use for lessons, if a keyboard student.
*** Specialties ***
kodaly method, utilizing solfege
students with special needs
sequential learning of music notation
classical foundation with student choice of other genres