I've been a songwriter since I was a teenager. I have been teaching music for almost as long. As a teacher, my joy comes from seeing a student realize they have grown, or discover something they now can do that they could not do before, and the confidence gained through their efforts with my guidance. I carry around the Beatles Pocket Reference Guide at all times and preach the gospel of their songwriting legacy to my students when necessary and whenever possible!! I equally love the mystery of the musical ear, and music theory, and how it all works together...I love purple. For all those who know me, I always match in whatever color spectrum I decide for that day, and I always have been that way. I believe in Angels on Earth, I searched for the Lochness Monster (No luck!!) I love animals. I have 2 rescue dogs, and 3 rescue cats, 1 more comes to have dinner and hang out. I named my son after the musical "Oliver" and the name suits him! I like that Oliver means " peace offering" I grew up in the Hollywood Hills, and love the history of Hollywoodland, I also love music and TV history. My uncle Sherwood co wrote 2 of the most iconic TV themes of all time in GIlligan's Island theme and the Brady Bunch. My mom, (Judithe) and I wrote songs together for 25 years. I named my first publishing company after my dog, Atso and he was the president and his legacy lives on in his name.
Employment History / Credits
Songwriting School of Los Angeles 2010- present
Musicians Institute 1992-present
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) 2013 - present
Neighborhood Rock School 2013- present
Dick Grove School of Music 1985-1992
LA Recording Workshop 1998-2005
The Baywatch Production Co / Fremantle Media 1989-1999
Dick Grove School of Music
Composition Program 1982-1983
Keyboard Program 1983-1984
Hollywood High School 1979
Honors in Music and History
ATAS member since 1997
Emmy judge for 15 years
Platinum Hit :" Tomorrow Doesn't Matter Tonight" Starship /RCA Records
"The Last Time" Agnetha Faltskog (ABBA) / WEA Records
Gold: "Where Are You Now" Roxus / Austrailia / Mushroom Records
Wrote numerous songs for TV show "Baywatch" 1989-1999
Songs /music in various TV movies, reality shows, films 1979-current
Collaborated with American Idol Top 5 finalist Brooke White
American Idol songwriting contest finalist 2007 / Jordin Sparks year
Co authored Music Book "The Lead Sheet Bible" A step by step guide to doing lead sheets and chord charts, published by Hal Leonard Publ. 1998
*** Lesson Details ***
To me every student is unique and special, therefore I design the lesson around what they need and or want to learn. With the younger students, I strongly suggest we work out of a book as well as me giving them handouts to work on too. There are many and various books by Faber and Faber I love to use. Hal Leonard and Alfred Publishing have some great books depending on the students needs. With kids, it's important to keep it fun and interesting, and get them on a practice schedule. I believe one must have much patience with the younger students and the level of communication must be high, keeping them engaged and focused. With teens and adults, it depends on where they are at, and I always ask what they want to concentrate on. A well rounded piano lesson would work on reading, technique, theory, songs. Again, depending on the type of student, the lesson would incorporate more /and or less of these components.
I've been coined the "Chord Queen" by many students because of my fascination with how theory plays a subconscious role in songwriters who write by ear and if I'm teaching songwriting, we are looking at how the song is structured, the lyrics,the music, and of course the harmony and arrangement and I'm here to guide the student to be able to finish the song, and them be happy when it comes to fruition.
The subjects I've taught:
Songwriting/ Artist Development
Transcribing/Chord Charts/Lead Sheets
*** Studio Equipment ***
I have a piano I teach at in my home, I have a photo copy machine to make copies and Wifi access if the student needs to bring their computer.Ipad, etc in regards to songwriting
*** Travel Equipment ***
I can bring music/paper/pens/pencils/hand outs/sheet music
Students should have piano/keyboard/Access to computer, or ipad would be helpful for research,examples. Lots of people have their music on their cell phones.
*** Specialties ***
Mostly Contemporary music,but have taught in many styles
Wrote songs for the TV show Baywatch
Wrote original songs for TV show Baywatch
Studies in piano, performance, ear training, sight reading, music notation, 8 levels of music theory, composition, songwriting, arranging, music direction, chart writing, lead sheets
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.