I am a NYS certified teacher and strings specialist. I encourage students to develop an efficient and healthy work ethic, foster creativity and self confidence, and have fun. My curriculum focuses on building long term skills through developing a strong technical foundation, exploring problem solving, and giving students ownership of the learning process.
Current Music Education Work
String Ensemble Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra Conductor
Youth Orchestra of St.Luke's Cello Teaching Artist
Lotus Chamber Music Collective Education Director
Private Studio Lessons
Group class coaching for musicians/teaching artists
Click on the buttons below to explore various facets of my teaching.
I began teaching orchestra after traveling around the world to find the right teacher for my own cello studies. During this time, I realized the significant impact a great teacher can have on the life of a student and I determined to become a person who could positively impact a community of individuals through orchestral music education. My own performance studies opened up the world for me, infused a hunger for learning within me, and gave me social perspective I would not have gained otherwise. It is my hope that students across the world are given the opportunity to participate in high-quality music education as I believe it truly can transform entire communities.
While the orchestral technique is essential for students to be and feel successful in their endeavors, imparting a desire to continue learning is paramount. Leadership skills, effective practice strategies, and valuable social skills allow students to reach their full potential in any field; giving them the courage to continue to work hard despite the many obstacles they will face in life.
I use “Habits of a Successful String Player”, 2011 American String Teacher Association Curriculum, Angela Harman’s various series of technical exercises, technique demonstration videos from professional musicians, and a variety of exercises developed by leading instrumental performance educators around the world. Developing the ear is essential to string players and I do so by singing with students, completing audiation exercises inspired by Gordon’s Music Learning Theory and the Suzuki Method, all while working on improved intonation.
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra serves as an inspiration for creating a collaborative learning environment in what can be a stiff, lecture style class. Whereas traditional orchestras encourage a strict hierarchy, the Orpheus model pushes each individual to take full responsibility for learning the score as well as individual parts, allowing the group to make evidence-based artistic choices. Not only is the Orpheus model used in the arts, it has also been studied by Harvard Business School and its model has been implemented by major corporations. Making sure that every student is encouraged to learn great leadership skills and contribute something significant to each piece of artwork we create is a key component to a successful classroom.
The freedom to take risks stems from a respectful and safe environment for students where they can and break through personal limitations. Respect not only involves a supportive classroom environment but the concern and detailed attention of a teacher to each student as an individual. Understanding what motivates students, what specific obstacles they face, and what makes them feel successful is equally important as the method of delivering the curriculum.
Music reaches far beyond learning notes and executing technique. Students perform often for members of the local community as a way of building self-esteem, social perspective, and social responsibility. I often ask my students what they are passionate outside of the classroom and we use that to fuel innovative performance ideas, research specific community or global issues, and create real-world experiences.
The use of technology has helped to allow learners to access a wide array of resources at any time and customize their learning in many ways. It also allows me to create more meaningful, individual assessments without using classroom time. I do this by having students submit videos of their playing and practicing for feedback. Students also use these videos to reflect on their own playing and see their progress throughout the years.
My continued experiences as a professional musician constantly refresh my teaching practice and give me new ideas on how to help my students better learn as I constantly pushing myself to learn more and repeatedly take on the role of student. I am excited to learn from my students and colleagues as we grow together.