I'm a professional saxophonist, composer, and arranger. I graduated from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies. In my life, I have been fortunate enough to study with jazz legends such as NEA Jazz Master Barry Harris, Gary Smulyan, Victor Lewis, Ralph Bowen, and Bill O'Connell.
My saxophone students should expect to work on mastering the fundamentals of the instrument, as it relates to embouchure and technique. We also will cover ear training every lesson, as the combination of these two elements will build the foundation for anything else the student wishes to learn in music.
My composition students should expect to work on traditional voiceleading and harmony, as well as how to arrange music for all varieties of ensembles. This includes everything from lead sheets to a full orchestra. Ear training is also essential for composers to translate what is in one's mind into a piece either in traditional notation, or realized electronically. I also teach composers how to work with the essential software of the industry, namely Sibelius or Finale, Ableton Live (including Max4Live), and Logic Pro.
All of my students will work on these foundations. From there, I work with my students to create a tangible system to organize their practice and goals so that we can work on more specific areas relevant to what they want out of their musical life. This system is extremely flexible and effective. I also encourage and assist my students to use this system in other areas of their lives, such as academics or sports. The skills needed for a high level of achievement are similar no matter the subject. The benefits of music education are praised often, but a direct approach to transferring those skills makes them far more tangible.
I teach students both in my own home or out of theirs, dependent on what works for the individual. I cover all styles of music both for performance and composition.
Teaches students 5 and up
Bachelor of Music Jazz Studies from Rutgers University
- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
My philosophy on teaching revolves around the idea that on the foundation of instrumental technique and functional ear training, all other facets of music are made easier.
Developing instrumental technique teaches the student how to assess and target their weaknesses. This is necessary to make the process efficient. I work with students to create a plan so that they can develop quickly while practicing a reasonable amount. I know their lives are busy enough.
Functional ear training is a skill that not only makes playing music easier, but it also makes listening to music more enjoyable! This is a skill the student keeps for the rest of their lives, regardless of whether or not they continue to play their instrument as an adult.
For jazz music specifically, if the student wants to go down that road, I find it imperative to make sure the history of the music goes hand in hand with the craft of the music. The study of history gives greater context to the music we listen to, which makes it approachable, as well as being an essential undertaking from a political perspective.
I work with my students to create a practice plan tailored to their goals and learning style. I take them through this process with me so that they use these strategies to progress in any area of their lives.
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