I have been studying and performing music for nearly 20 years. Playing many styles ranging from classical to jazz, funk to folk, and jibaro to choro, I have become a versatile and compassionate educator and artist. I began my professional career at age 16, and I have performed throughout the United States in various touring bands, which has also included mandolin orchestra performances in Providence, Rhode Island; Lawrence, Kansas; and Santa Cruz, California. I am the recipient of the Hibbard Perry Mandolin Scholarship (2003) and the Mandolin Symposium Scholarship (2009). After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Music Business with a concentration in classical guitar from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale (2006), I moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he held the position of Finance Coordinator at Sony Music Entertainment. In 2008, I relocated to the city I love, Chicago, to continue teaching and performing in various ensembles. In 2016, I received a masters degree in Jazz Studies on mandolin and guitar, under the tutelage of virtuoso guitarist Fareed Haque, at Northern Illinois University.
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Students are my focus. Because of that, on day one, we work together to create a successful learning path that is unique to your specific needs as a student/growing musician. We take a look at your current level (it is perfectly okay if that is square one) and develop a 13 week plan. An essential day-by-day process to get you from zero to playing music confidently. As we continue our progress, we approach each 13 week session with the same detail to maximize your six days of practice between lessons with me. Music is one of the most amazing journeys to take, and I would be honored to help guide you along the way.
I received my Bachelor of Arts in Music Business with Classical Guitar as my primary instrument from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale in 2006. Most recently, I received my Master of Music (Jazz Studies) from Northern Illinois University in 2016. I have been teaching private and group music lessons since 2004.
I have always had a profound drive to share my musical experiences and knowledge with others. Though I may not always have the answers, the true joy of music comes through the discovery of something new; and often times, that happens when you least expect it. Teaching is a constant path of discovery. Every student, even if sometimes very slightly, has a different perspective on music and what it means to them. As a teaching artist, there is no greater joy than stepping into a student's musical world and discovering new possibilities with them.
I have taught students ranging in ages 6 – 65 years old. What an amazing phenomenon to witness the similar expressions of joy that a 10 year old girl has playing her first notes on the guitar to that of a 65 year old retired Army Sergeant performing a song for the first time in front of an audience. Music (art) may be the only field that can so easily discover that common denominator in life.
Look for a teacher who not only has a passion for teaching, but this is their career. A lot of musicians view giving lessons as a way to make a few extra dollars, and that is okay. But there is a difference in the level of committment from those who teach for a living. Also, the best performers don't always make for the best teachers. If you find a great performer who is also an instructor, make sure that they have remained grounded in learning music as a life-long process; ego is the enemy of knowledge.
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