Lessons, Masterclasses, and Consultations
In addition to my university studio at UW-Whitewater, I maintain a private lesson studio consisting of students of all ages and abilities in Madison, Wisconsin. Whether you are an aspiring young hornist thinking of majoring in music, or an amateur enthusiast looking to improve your abilities, feel free to email me using the contact page on this website for further information regarding lessons and consultations.
I am also an active clinician, having presented masterclasses and recitals at festivals, universities, middle schools and high schools. If you are interested in a presentation or clinic please contact me!
Over the course of my musical life, I have had the privilege of studying with spectacular teachers. Each of them provided different methods and concepts to solving problems in my playing by tailoring their teaching to fit my current abilities, career aspirations, and personality. I have taken the lessons I have learned from my former teachers and applied them towards the development of my own teaching style. I believe that my purpose as an applied horn instructor is to influence my students in such a way that they become autonomous. So that once a student has finished his or her course of study with me, they can function as an independent, thoughtful, problem solving, and well-rounded musician ready to contribute to the field of music in whatever specialty they choose. There are several methods that I incorporate into my teaching to achieve this goal.
First, I believe that it is necessary to have a structured lesson schedule for younger students. For instance, for an entering freshman music major I typically assign one technical etude, one lyrical etude which would be played as written and in a transposed key, and their solo and ensemble requirements every week. By having set assignments every week, it encourages younger students to develop their own practice techniques, time management skills, and problem-solving skills; all of which would be discussed, adapted, and expanded upon during their lessons based on each student’s personal development, attitude, and their current mindset. By incorporating a holistic approach to pedagogy that is grounded in goal setting, purposeful experimentation, and personal wellness, my students develop a tool box of techniques which they can refer to throughout their careers to improve their playing and continue to learn long after they have left my studio.
Second, an imperative part of my teaching is that students should always be guided to think in terms of music making as opposed to horn playing. Often, I encounter students and performers who have all the technical ability one could desire. They can play up and down the range of the instrument, play from the loudest fortissimo to the softest pianissimo, but they cannot play a simple musical phrase. If students are encouraged and guided to allow the style of the music to determine the technique used to play it, they not only learn how to accomplish a task on the instrument, they learn how to convey a musical idea to an audience.
Finally, I believe that a section of applied teaching should be used to discuss life in the musical world. I find from my own personal experience that we, as musicians, are trained in the bubble of the conservatory or university only to be cast out into the big, often cut-throat world of the music business. I believe that students should have more information at their disposal before entering the workforce. How do you network as a freelancer? How do you go about starting and promoting a chamber group? What are sources of income other than teaching and performing? How do you manage your finances? These are all questions that every musician must answer during their career and preparing young musicians to handle these imminent challenges while they are still a student could give them a serious head start in their careers.
I like to think of my teaching style as more of a guide book. Giving enough information to be helpful to the student, but never simply teaching by wrote. Instead, I encourage my students to search for what drives them, what makes music the art form that they are giving their life to. As they progress through this journey, along with guidance from me, they will discover how they learn, what their own most effective practice methods are, and in the end, they will improve as musicians. Additionally, of greater importance, by the end of their studies with me, they will have become confident, passionate, and hungry members of society; ready to contribute to the continuation and enrichment of our art form.