My commitment to my students is that they will benefit from a comprehensive program—learning theory (the foundation, construction, and fabric of music—the how and why), reading (to read - to possess fluency in the written language of music on the page—reading is the key to working out and playing anything), technique (to develop the physical skill and academic understanding of how to apply those skills), music history (a foundational background in the 400+ years of Post-Renaissance periods and styles, as well as the composers), and, finally, genres (the different styles of music that would reflect the student’s own, personal, preferences). My goal is, always, that music becomes a vital interest, and source of joy, comfort, and satisfaction, in the students’ life—throughout their lives.
Bachelor of Music, Piano Performance from Central Missouri State University – 1977, studied with Dr. Wes True.
Master of Musical Arts, Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from a cooperative program with University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State University – 1988, studying Pedagogy and Romantic Period Literature and Performance with Louise Brugger Bidwell at UC Berkeley and Performance with William Corbett-Jones at San Francisco State University.
Advanced performance and pedagogical study with Karen Halverhout, retired Professor of Music from the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music.
Currently enrolled in the program to obtain the title of NCTM (Nationally Certified Teacher of Music) through MTNA (Music Teacher's National Association). Completion of coursework, essays, teaching demonstrations, and performance requirements scheduled for May, 2013.
I have been an independent music instructor since 1979. I have worked from my home studio in the following cities: Lee’s Summit, MO, Las Vegas, NV, San Francisco, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Boston, MA, Stamford, CT, New York, NY, and Kansas City, MO. I work with children, 3 to 18 years of age, at all levels—beginners through advanced. My approach is comprehensive, incorporating fundamentals, literature, technique, music theory, music history, and performance. I work with a variety of different methods, tailoring the materials to the needs of each, individual child.
I believe all children can learn to play and to love music. I work from the deep belief that a well-structured music education can enhance every aspect of a child’s personal and academic experience, laying a foundation for academic excellence, self-confidence and esteem, superior study skills, and the child’s personal code of accountability and responsibility.
Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)
Missouri Music Teachers Association (MMTA)
Kansas Music Teachers Association (KMTA)
Kansas City Music Teachers Association (KCMTA)
American Federation of Music Clubs (Federated Music Teachers of Kansas City)
National Piano Guild (Guild)
Mid America Music Association (MAMA)
I currently hold the position of pianist for Indian Heights United Methodist Church, Overland Park, KS.
In addition to teaching, a few career highlights include:
Accompanist with the Jester Hairston Chorale
Rehearsal pianist for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (New York), Providence Performing Arts Center (Providence, RI), and Segerstrom Performing Arts Center (Costa Mesa, CA)
Accompanist for many artists including Helen Armstrong - violin, Eric Friedman - violin, David Feldman – cello, Derek Rogge – trumpet, Alan Baer – tuba, and David Fedderly – tuba
Musical Director/Conductor for national touring companies of musicals, “My Fair Lady” and "The Music Man” through touring companies Broadway Live and Allied Live
Active adjudicator (piano) for pedagogy-based festivals, non-competitive evaluative auditions, and competitions
Concerto Soloist with the San Francisco State University Orchestra performing, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major by Ludwig van Beethoven
Currently developing and authoring a pedagogy method focusing on pre-school children.
*** Lesson Details ***
I believe music is best taught, and learned, through nurturing. All students will be treated with kindness, respect, and courtesy. It is my goal that the student discovers joy, and a life-long love of music, through their music education.
Pre-school—ages 3-5 years old: Pre-K is a wonderful time for children to begin!!! Beginning with the Right Hand/Left Hand game, the young child will learn hands, finger numbers, high-low-middle sounds, up and down, note names, note values, symbols and definitions, clapping and counting rhythm lines, keyboard geography, and more. The young student develops confidence and a sense of fun and will transition, very easily, into pre-reading and then full reading.
I work, extensively with older beginners (starting at age 5 and above), intermediate levels and advanced students. Through my professional affiliations, my students enjoy many opportunities to participate in evaluative events—both competitive and non-competitive, festivals, and recitals. As the student advances, we will set a course for continued learning with the goal of personal satisfaction and enjoyment, or—if the student chooses—we will work to prepare for college/university study as a future music major and minor. Most of my high school students are striving for scholarships (in all fields) and I work to help them achieve their highest competitive edge in this circumstance.
I believe all students should have a well-balanced musical diet which should include a reading skills book, repertoire, technique, scales, and theory.
• Emphasis will be placed on an understanding of music fundamentals through the study of theory and its relationship to the repertoire being studied. Understanding will be reinforced through weekly lesson drills on notes, key signatures, chords, and rhythms as needed; weekly written assignments; and weekly ear-training assignments.
• Emphasis will be placed on technical skills through the weekly study of all major scales, arpeggios, and chords progressions and standard technical exercises and etudes. Care will be taken to provide the proper sitting and hand positions in order to accomplish the greatest skill and fluency possible for each student.
• Emphasis will be placed on music reading through weekly sight-reading studies and the study of repertoire appropriate to the student’s abilities. Special care will be taken to accomplish a final performance which reflects an understanding of musical phrases and form, stylistic characteristics, expressive elements, and musical fluency.
• Students will be expected to give equal preparation to all areas emphasized in each lesson. Careful preparation of weekly lessons will instill a sense of responsibility and discipline which applies to all aspects of life; a thorough understanding of music which should increase the student’s appreciation of music in general; and a basic life-time skill for future enjoyment and outlet for basic emotions.
*** Studio Equipment ***
The studio consists of a music room with an adjacent room providing seating for parents. Includes: 2 grand pianos, computer station, listening center and music library. The studio is equipped with adaptive devices: a pedal extender and two adjustable artist benches (one solo and one duet-sized) so that any student, child or adult, will be positioned correctly and comfortably.
*** Travel Equipment ***
*** Specialties ***
I do not rely on one method as the curriculum for my studio--each student is different and each has his, or her, own orientation to learning. I try to tailor the choice of method to the student depending on if they are an aural, visual, or kinesthetic learner. This is my foundational principle--ascertaining a child's learning style and working with the child in the way he, or she, best learns. I work from a classically based approach--I incorporate scales, chords, arpeggios, and cadences, as well as technique (most notably, "Dozen a Day", Hanon, and Roeder. Older students work with Joseffy and Dohnanyi approaches to technique. I try to teach from a balanced selection of music representing the 4 post-renaissance periods of music history. As the student progresses, I add the areas of special interest to the student whether it is church jusic, writing lead sheets to play with a band, jazz, pop, etc. I teach Theory at every level, consistently as the student studies with me.
The MTNA was founded in 1876 with the goal of advancing the value of music study and music-making to society while supporting the careers and professionalism of teachers of music. With nearly 22,000 members in 50 states—and more than 500 local affiliates—the MTNA is the preeminent source for music teacher support, where members embody like-minded values and commitment to their students, colleagues and society as a whole, while reaping the rewards of collaboration, continuity and connection throughout the lifetime of their careers.