Throughout my teaching career, I have displayed a strong commitment to providing high quality instruction to students of all ages. My academic preparation has been extensive and prepared me to teach band, jazz, and guitar ensemble classes. I have taught big band courses, guitar ensembles, and individual guitar lessons. In addition, I have extensive performance experience as a jazz guitarist and as a Band Leader for Holland America Cruise Lines.
At University of Alaska Anchorage, I have completed a series of methods and techniques courses preparing me to teach Brass, Woodwinds, Strings, and Percussion instruments. I will complete the coursework for the Master of Arts in Teaching in December 2018. My coursework has also prepared me to better understand the diverse populations in Alaska schools including issues with Alaska Natives and special education populations.
As a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Washington State University, I directed a big band course titled, Jazz Lab Band II. I auditioned potential band members, selected repertoire for performance, and helped undergraduate students develop into experienced musicians. Additionally, I prepared and delivered lectures about music theory and jazz history for various courses. I also assisted in organizing jazz concerts, events for guest artists, and music festivals. As Band Leader for Holland America, I ensured the integrity of the HALCats’ sound, look, and performance. I lead rehearsals for guest entertainers to provide exceptional performances. The most important responsibility in this position was to coach, motivate, and provide an honest assessment to each musician as well as a written evaluation of his/her job performance.
I have founded two highly successful guitar ensembles. The Jazz Guitar Ensemble focused solely on big band jazz repertoire and its members were made up from the Washington State University community. I arranged standard big band charts for up to thirteen guitar players in preparation for performances at a local jazz venue. From my guitar studio at Plateau Music, I recruited students ranging in age from 16 to 25 to form an acoustic guitar ensemble titled, From Beatles to Bach. I chose the repertoire based on its educational merit and kept the musical style varied, from rock to jazz to classical.
For the past 15 years, I have had extensive experience teaching individual guitars lessons. My students have ranged in age from 5 to 65, the majority of my students have been between the ages of 16 and 25. It is common for teenagers and young adults to show an interest in learning guitar; the challenge can be for a teacher to help them maintain that interest. My philosophy is to teach to a student’s interest whether it is rock, folk, blues, or jazz, while also ensuring they learn music fundamentals and correct pedagogy which can be applied to any style.
I am currently teaching as an adjunct at The University of Anchorage, Alaska teaching private guitar lessons and the Jazz Ensemble. As well as working towards earning a Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus on music education with certification for K-12. I have a bachelor’s degree in Music from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and a master’s degree in jazz composition from Washington State University.