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Composer Troy W. graduated from the New England Conservatory, earning his Bachelors, Masters (cum laude) and Graduate Diploma while studying with mentor Malcolm Peyton. After spending a year studying with Lukas Foss in Boston, Mr. W. moved to Houston in 2001 where he continued graduate studies at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music.
During his time as a teacher with the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, Troy taught classes in music fundamentals and music theory for pre-college students. He has also served on the faculty of the Summer Institute for Piano teaching courses in Form & Analysis for pre-college students.
Troy also has maintained a private studio, tutoring and teaching private lessons in composition, ear training, voice, piano, literature, and history for over ten years. Students who have studied with him come from a wide range of backgrounds with different goals. Those who have continued with musical studies in college have consistently placed out of at least the first two semesters of music theory and achieved advanced placement in their chosen fields of study. Those who chose a different path continue to benefit from the education and training they received from taking music lessons.
*** Lesson Details ***
There is no "standard formula" to lessons. Each student has their own unique background, needs, and goals. Lessons tend to be somewhat casual but are structured in such a way as to meet the unique requirements of the student.
To accomplish your goals, there are a few requirements and basic expectations that the student and parent must meet.
The first is practice. Students are expected to practice daily for at least the length of their lesson time. This, above all else, is essential to progress. It is also expected that a parent will attend lessons for students who are too young to drive themselves here. It's important for a parent to guide the student's practice time (particularly for younger students) to ensure that the most is gained from it. This is why I ask that a parent observe lessons.
Each student or parent should bring to each lesson a notebook, pencils (with erasers). The notebook will be used to record notes about each lesson, homework, practice advice, etc. Pencils (not pens...nobody's perfect!) are used by composers to record their creations and performers to mark their music. Both of these essential practices are subject to changing thought and must be open to change. So no ink, please!
Performers: It is not necessary to know how to read music at the first lesson for beginners. However, learning to read is required for subsequent lessons and will be a large focus for all non-readers. Lessons are not learned "by ear." A certain amount of theory will be a part of every lesson just as technique and repertoire. Concerning repertoire, it will be selected based on the student's learning needs but also with their input. The main emphasis on performance lessons, however, will be technique and reading. Students should come to the first lesson prepared to discuss their background & goals and the plan of their course of study.
Note: Voice students must be at least 16 years of age.
Composers: Just as with performers, it is not necessary to know how to read music at the first lesson. However, learning to read is required for subsequent lessons. Many young composers have great ideas but can only hear them in their heads or play them on an instrument. Lessons will allow you to obtain the skills to write them down with greater speed, accuracy, and clarity. More advance students will also include exploring a wider range of harmonic languages, advanced notation, instrumentation, orchestration, and aural skills. Students should come to the first lesson with examples of their work, either written, notated, or recorded in a digital format. They should be prepared to discuss their background & goals and the plan of their course of study.
• To reschedule a lesson, more than one day notice is required.
• Make up lessons must be scheduled before the next regular lesson.
• A make up lesson cannot be scheduled in place of a regular lesson.
• If, for any reason, two 30-minute lessons are scheduled one right after the other, they will be charged as two 30-minute lessons, not one 60 minute lesson which is a different rate.
• If, for any reason, two 45-minute lessons are scheduled one right after the other, they will be charged as two 45-minute lessons, not one 90 minute lesson which is a different rate.
• the studio space is also inhabited by two lovely cats. Do consider this when signing up for lessons.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Yamaha DGX-650 weighted 88 keys full sized keyboard
area for parents to sit and observe lessons.
*** Specialties ***
Main area is in classical music and media scoring with secondary focus on musical theatre vocal performance and composing/arranging.
Private Studio in composition, theory, piano, voice, and aural skills. Students age 5 - 70.
Present lecture series on various topics. Past lecture series topics include "A Brief History of Opera," "The American 20th Century," and "The Life and Music of Mozart."
Summer Institute for Piano. Course Instructor "Form and Analysis."
MUSI 117 "Music Fundamentals for Non-Majors"
Instructor of Composition, theory, and aural skills in class room and private lesson settings.
Course taught - "Music and Technology"
Topics in 20th Century Music
We offer students and professionals opportunities to grow artistically and professionally. Students can learn have a music industry experience through the PAS Internship program or apply to receive a PAS scholarship or grant. Professionals can create new percussion programs or gain recognition through PAS grants and contests. Many individuals have significantly impacted the world of percussion through the Percussive Arts Society and they are recognized in our Hall of Fame and Awards pages.
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.
· Singing · In studio Troy is a rare talent in the Houston area. He's well qualified, very detailed, and has a great sense of humor. Troy has been teaching me for 6 months and I have come so far. I'll go sing karaoke anytime! Thank you Troy!
· Singing · In studio I sang my first karaoke song flawlessly thanks to Troy. I still have a long ways to go, but I see improvement every week. Troy is professional, optimistic, and talented. Thank you Troy!
· Opera Voice · In studio Troy is a terrific teacher. He's helped me address breath and diction issues that have plagued me for years. I can't recommend him highly enough!
· Piano · In studio Great teacher
· Piano · In studio Excellent teacher. Very patient even with Senior Citizens. Great credentials as well.
· Piano · In studio Very good
· Piano · In studio Great for adult students leading hectic lives.
I work very long, irregular hours at an extremely stressful job so I picked up piano lessons as a stress-management mechanism. To be clear, I had played for over 8 years before I stopped in college. So, my primary goal was to regain enough skill to be able to learn pieces quickly and play them for leisure.
Troy has been very patient, flexible, and supportive. Importantly, he is able to tailor each week's lesson to his students' needs. Some weeks I come in and I've had time to practice. But on other weeks, where I come in during a break at work having not even SEEN a piano all week, we work on sight reading and technique. Even if you haven't practiced, he makes each lesson worthwhile.
And my sight reading has improved dramatically!
· Singing · In studio Fantastic start!
· Opera Voice · In studio Wonderful first lesson. Troy is very knowledgeable. I'm feeling more encouraged about my singing than I have in a long time.
· Piano · In studio Troy was attentive to details and made very good suggestions on how to improve my sons' technique. He is very organized, and precise, while keeps the lessons fun. His assistant teacher, the unforgiving gray cat keeps an eye on the students when they do not perform. :-)
The boys were a bit discouraged when he told them that they have to practice some of the basics as there seem to be holes in their knowledge. I hope with the proper technique an structure they will quickly progress in piano and in enjoyment and appreciation of music.