Welcome! I am a veteran music educator and performer specializing in trumpet, trombone, piano and jazz. I am available to teach private lessons to students of all ages–from young children and teens to adults–in the Seattle area.
Since 2002, I have taught young musicians by giving private lessons, leading group classes and coaching or directing various ensembles of different sizes, ability levels and age groups. In the Seattle area I have taught in jazz programs at Glacier Peak High School and Ballard High School. Individually, about 20 students around Seattle take lessons from me privately.
I hold a Bachelor of Music degree in Classical and Jazz trumpet performance from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. I also attended the School for Improvisational Music in Brooklyn, New York, in 2006.
As a professional music educator, I have long experience teaching trumpet, jazz, beginning trombone and piano to students of various ages and ability levels. For more than a decade I have worked as a part-time adjunct staff member for numerous high school music programs, private lesson studios and independent organizations along the West Coast.
I taught at my alma mater, Robert McQueen High School, in Reno, Nevada, from 2002-2007; at William S. Hart High School, Newhall, California, from 2011-2014; and West Ranch High School, Valencia, California, in 2013. I coached the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps in 2009; and the Arizona Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, 2012-2013. I taught a studio of students at the West Coast Music Academy in Santa Clarita, California.
In Washington State I also have taught at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo, and Everett High School and Mariner High School, both in Everett, as well as at Music Center of the Northwest, a community music school in north Seattle.
I started my own musical training at age 10, first on piano and then two years later on the trumpet. I studied both instruments throughout high school. During my time as a secondary and collegiate student, I performed in a wide variety of ensembles both on and off campus, including jazz big bands, jazz combos, university orchestras, wind ensembles and brass ensembles. I was lead trumpet/soloist with the Sacramento Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps from 2003-2005. I also was a member of the Reno Philharmonic from 2007-2008.
Professionally, I currently play in a number of ensembles:
- Funky2Death,an eight-piece funk/soul band that performs most Friday nights from 10:00 p.m. on at Seamonster Lounge, 2202 N. 45th St., Wallingford, Seattle.
- 45th St. Brass, a funk/soul/brass group in Seattle.
- Special Forces, a jazz septet.
- Atomic Ape, a Los Angeles-based quintet that performs an experimental mix of all types of musical genres and tours regularly and has recorded on the Web of Mimicry label.
- 45th Street Brass, a for-hire brass section, busking ensemble and New Orleans-style brass band.
- Nucleus, an experimental trio in development.
Besides these ensembles, I also do a great deal of recording work, classical and jazz performance on a free-lance basis in numerous venues.
Past ensembles I have played in include the Rowan-Baba Jazz Orchestra, which performs all original contemporary jazz music, Orkestar Meze, an 11-piece band performing “peasant funk,” a blend of traditional/original eastern European music and American funk, Jazz Police, a jazz big band, and Sound Wave, the official band of the Seattle Sounders.
My teaching philosophy is as follows:
Generally, I have found that there are two types of students. The first is a child or adult who has never played a musical instrument. With these students, my primary focus is helping the student understand and execute proper technique, from the very first lesson Knowing all the parts to the instrument and how to hold the instrument correctly is step one, as is knowing how to sit or stand with correct posture. Creating the first sounds is the next step. This can be considerably more difficult for trumpet or trombone students. But I have always found success in helping beginning students not only create their first sounds on the instrument, but to give them the know-how to create those same sounds at home. Once the approach to creating sound has been established, the next step is helping them learn to read and play the notes and rhythms on the page.
The other type of student is one who is not entirely new to the instrument or to music in general. In this case, the first step is to find out what the students knows. From there it is a fairly simple process to determine what needs to be addressed and what techniques the student will need to work on. While breaking bad habits can be difficult, it is this process of correcting such habits that will not only help the student progress more and at a faster rate, but can allow development of a more inspired understanding and passion for music and the instrument they are learning.
Regardless of age or experience, my focus with all students is giving them the information, tools and motivation needed to achieve on their own, at home, in practice. All students have the potential to learn and succeed. Music is fun! It has always been a labor of love for me and I have just as much fun practicing music as I do teaching and performing. That is why it is extremely important to me that any student finds enjoyment not just in performance but also in practice. That being said, patience is key. Patience on the part of the student, the parents and the instructor is crucial in furthering the development of the student’s abilities and perhaps most importantly, their love and enjoyment of music.
In my experience as a music educator, the biggest challenge is not the teaching of music or how to play an instrument. It is knowing how to inspire and motivate the student to practice what is learned in lessons. I believe it is because I started studying music myself at a young age that I am particularly adept at understanding what young students experience and helping them succeed.
For a little exit music, CLICK HERE . (I’m the dude on the right.)
I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by!