Beginning with my experiences conducting master classes while touring with the Broadway musical Once, I became increasingly steadfast in the belief that in music, if one becomes passionate about a song, such passion may easily manifest itself to technical proficiency under proper care and guidance. Students will be far more engaged in the classroom, a positive musical experience will be created, and the students will be more likely to build upon foundations to become greater musicians and even greater citizens. These experiences brought me to both graduate study and my emerging core philosophy of teaching; to create a classroom environment where a passion for music never dissipates. My recent graduate studies at NYU have guided me to fully realizing this correlation between passion and proficiency, and also the skills to cater to each student individually, for I’ve learned in my teaching career thus far that no two students are alike.
I was fortunate enough to begin my music education with instrumental music, beginning with piano in kindergarten, then clarinet in fourth grade followed by guitar in sixth; I didn’t publicly sing at all until I was in high school. Although this peculiar evolution of musical training was simply due to circumstances, I wouldn’t have changed a thing; it made me a musician first-and-foremost, particularly in my approach to vocal music. I will never forget that my own sequence of music education accelerated my capacity to learn music, and allowed an easy transition to become proficient in even more instruments, which became invaluable in my performance career. Though vocal music is my focus I will never simply teach students “how to sing.” The student must become a musician. I look forward to applying a series of curricula that may ensure basic musical skills prior to vocal training or song interpretation. Clearly, this short-lived experience at the helm of the Once master classes was invigorating; by participating in them it was made clear that with vocal music education, keeping the classroom fresh, engaging, and lush with instrumental skills and core concepts are vital.
I truly look forward to applying the skills developed at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, NYU, and the variety of schools in which I’ve taught; methodologies I’ve acquired and honed supplying my complete “arsenal” of tools which can engage any music classroom. I firmly believe this, along with constant work on removing students’ anxiety, self-doubt and other mental blocks, may create a foundation for a progressive and highly successful long-term course of study for aspiring young singers and musicians. The head of the vocal music studio at the prestigious Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, found my methods OF classroom engagement to be so successful, I was appointed Assistant Director for the Spring 2018 semester and conducted two choral pieces (one of which was my own arrangement) for their acclaimed spring concert, the first student teacher in the schools’ history allowed such a privilege.