I recently moved Northern Virginia, joining the US Army Band "Pershing's Own" as section clarinetist in October of 2018. Previously, I was living Chicago, where I earned my MM in Clarinet Performance at Northwestern University and my BM in Clarinet Performance and BA in Chinese Studies at DePaul University.
My current and former students range in age from eight to retired adults and in ability from total beginners to experienced players with decades of experience under thier belts. Many of them play with youth and community musical organizations around the Chicago area, including the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Lakeside Pride Band, and North Shore New Horizons Band.
My teaching is very much centered around developing the fundamental skills used to play the clarinet. These fundamentals can be applied to every piece of music one plays, making them indispensable skills. I believe that this makes my students more independent learners and allows them to be more comfortable with navigating the instrument. I hope that developing these skills will reduce the sense of "struggling" with the clarinet and therefore making playing enjoyable and rewarding.
I am fascinated with the learning process and, on a side note, was previously a research assistant to a professor researching foreign language study at DePaul University. I often use language-learning techniques in my own clarinet study and teaching, and vice versa. In language study, once one develops a certain level of fluency and mastery of vocabulary and grammar, everyday conversations become natural and enjoyable, making for more meaningful interactions in the outside world. Similary, a strong study of clarinet fundamentals builds fluency and comfort on the instrument and allows my students to play and interact with the wonderful music written for the clarinet as well as to build a general love for the instrument itself. I believe that all of these are skills that we can acquire, refine, and use for the rest of our lives.
My most recent clarinetist mentors are Steve Cohen, Steve Williamson, and Julie DeRoche.
Charles really helped me improve as a clarinet player and as a result I am now playing principal parts in a local community band! His lessons are very structured -- method exercises, etudes, clarinet repertoire and band music. I also really appreciate his honesty when providing feedback on my playing and feel that I get real value from my weekly lessons. If you want to improve as a clarinet player I strongly recommend that you take lessons from Charles!