More important than my conservatory education and my experience as an educator and a performer is my passion for teaching music and acting and my undying belief that anyone can learn to be a musician and an actor. I'm currently available to teach lessons in my own St. Augustine home studio, and online around the globe.
I'm a cum laude graduate of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey and a winner of its merit scholarship.
After performing with the New York and Royal Philharmonics, the New Jersey and Virginia Symphonies, the American Boy Choir and the internationally renowned opera star, Andrea Bocelli, studying opera and piano at Westminster Choir College and performance art and improvisational acting at East Carolina University in North Carolina, and appearing in shows and pageants across the east coast, I found my life's work in 2003 when I began teaching music.
I've successfully taught hundreds of different students since 2003, from 5-year-olds with special needs, to middle-aged professional opera singers, from a linguistics professor in Saudi Arabia, to a 65-year-old doctor of music. I've created and led a workshop about singing called, "The Whole Body Singer". I've written dozens of articles about music and music education for the blog at TakeLessons.com.
My extensive knowledge of the voice has encouraged and empowered hundreds of singers and prepared many of them to win competitions, pageants and auditions, as well as roles in operas and musicals.
Having both taught myself piano and received formal training at a conservatory has prepared me to teach almost anyone how to play.
The intensive training and education that I received at Westminster Choir College in songwriting, music theory and sight reading has benefited my students at every level.
My current work as singer and keyboardist in the acoustic rock duo, Timberwood, has strengthened my knowledge of a broad range of styles and genres. I have a strong commitment to continuing my education. That's why I recently (2014) studied songwriting online with the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
In the lessons that I teach, I'm flexible, positive and encouraging. While I want my students to have fun and love music, not dread it, I expect hard work and persistence. I am caring, patient, nurturing, and compassionate. In piano lessons, I usually allow the student to choose a piece with which to warm up and then move on to technique and repertoire. In voice lessons, I usually warm up the singer and discuss technique and sight singing before focusing on song choices. Joan Frey Boytim wrote a book for voice that I like to use, and I like the Estelle Liebling exercises for the more advanced singer. Hanon exercises are a big part of my piano curriculum, and I enjoy the Bastien and Alfred books for young and old. I have used completely random songs pulled out of a piano bench and a karaoke CD for kids. I will use almost anything I can get my hands on if it means effectively teaching music.
Acting lessons consist of exercises and games that apply learned concepts, and monologue and audition coaching. Parents are always welcome to observe lessons quietly.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide an acoustic guitar to bring to voice lessons. I expect my piano students to have a piano, an organ or a keyboard.
***Home Studio Equipment***
In my home studio, my students will have access to an acoustic guitar, an electronic keyboard, an acoustic piano and PC audio recording.
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in teaching classical, pop and musical theater singing, classical and pop/rock/chordal style piano, and sightreading, including solfege syllables. I enjoy using Estelle Liebling as my voice method and Hanon for piano technique. I have coursework in jazz and pop theory and songwriting from Westminster Choir College. Teaching special needs individuals is also one of my specialties, and one that I highly enjoy. I have coursework in Meisner technique and experience in both theatre acting and musical theatre.
While it was wonderful to teach voice and piano at the Jacksonville School of Music, I left in order to make more time slots available in my St. Augustine studio.
After teaching piano and voice full time at DnD Music for over five years, I left when my family and I decided to move to Florida.
I taught both private voice lessons and classroom music history and music theory to auditioned magnet students.
I taught voice lessons out of my home studio to a variety of ages and experience levels.