Clarence P. saw one of his older friends playing a trombone in elementary school band and became intrigued with wanting to play it also. He approached his father about renting one and thus began Clarence’s musical experience.
George Ross, a nationally renowned contra-bassoonist was his first music instructor.
After elementary school, Clarence continued to play trombone in middle school under the direction of Dave Williams a well-known woodwinds player in the swing jazz community. He became first chair and continued his musical experience in high school under Paul Cartwright, a cellist in the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Robert Momchilov. He also learned to play the baritone horn and was awarded a medal for outstanding musicianship his senior year. With the encouragement of both his parents and Mr. Momchilov, Clarence applied for and was accepted into the music program of Virginia Commonwealth University.
While at VCU, Clarence played with other bands and developed a desire to compose music. Because of this desire he also saw the value of learning and knowing the piano and began piano training. His instructors would say, “The better you play the better you will compose.” After achieving a Bachelors of Music Education Degree, Clarence attending Graduate School at Virginia Commonwealth University studying music composition and electronic music.
Clarence has been involved with a number of performing arts schools and programs, with the movie industry, gotten a couple of songs published in Nashville and the experience of being in a professional Nashville Studio and being around professional Nashville Musicians, and taught a number of students of all ages. A number have gone on to major in music. He continues to compose, teach, and is involved with video and audio recording.
Clarence has been blessed with a number of outstanding instructors who have taught him that hard work, persistence/repetition and the desire to do well leads to success. Also with instruction and learning, patience is an important attribute. He tries to pass these lessons on to his students and strives to be conscientious towards them as his instructors were to him. As his instructors us to tell him, “you have to pay your dues (do the work)” but also to give back as you have been blessed. Be open-minded and look for the best. There is beauty in all things and all types of music.
*** Lesson Details ***
I strive to be thorough with my lessons. I want students to enjoy taking lessons but to understand that doing things correctly will help them to achieve a lot faster and become better musicians. Technique is very important and encourage my students to develop good form and habits when playing and practicing. We all have gifts to develop and our reward is the development of those gifts by the work and time we devote to them.
I use Hanon to develop finger strength and technique and inform the students that it is a method that beginners to professionals can always use. Understanding the basic rudiments of music such as scales, intervals, triads, chords, keys is also taught. Books that help with the basics of reading music are used but I progress the students according to their abilities. Their progress depends on their practice. I always encourage them to enjoy what they are doing and to build upon what they accomplish.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I require the students to have a piano or a keyboard with piano- sized keys
*** Specialties ***
I am comfortable teaching classical piano. I believe that students should receive a strong foundation in music. When they develop strong skills, they can move on to other genres.
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· Piano · In home Clarence has been teaching my daughter for over a year. He is a wonderful teacher who is soft-spoken, persistent and has the perfect amount of firmness (that she needs). He sets clear expectations, teaches the critical skills and leaves some time for my daughter to play what she enjoys. She really enjoys her lessons with him and I am amazed with how much she enjoys learning piano.