I teach students of all ages and levels, from younger beginners to advanced students to adults who "used to play".
When working with aspiring professionals, I work to ensure they have all the skills necessary to succeed.
In teaching music, I focus on development of the ear as much as possible. In my experience, the most successful musicians in any field have the ability to learn music by ear and to improvise. In the 21st Century, this even applies to classical musicians. Different jobs exist for musicians now than 50 years ago. Musicians who can simply read notes from the page typically have limited employment possibilities. But, for example, a pianist who can improvise an accompaniment for a singer will be in great demand.
That said, the ability to sightread is more important than ever. The repertoire is changing, and musicians are called on to play unfamiliar music more often than they were a generation ago. Also, many ensembles have very limited rehearsal time. Therefore, a musician will often be given a piece of music to play, sometimes on short notice, with only a few rehearsals. There usually isn't the luxury of learning music one measure at a time over several weeks. Finally, a musician should be fluent in a variety of styles. When asked if you can play a classical accomaniment, or it the pit orchestra of a musical, or in a rock band, or in a jazz group, it's best to be able to say "yes" to as many of those as possible. I therefore encourage my students to learn many styles.
I strive to prepare my students for a professional career. These things—playing by ear, sightreading, and stylistic flexibilty—are among the things I emphasize in lessons.
(I also teach many beginners, people who just want to "play for fun", and players of other instruments wanting to learn piano. These lessons are a bit more informal and less intense.)
I have 30 years experience teaching and playing professionally. I have played accompaniments for music students and choirs. I play jazz, rock, pop, and avant-garde music. I perform in many jazz and rock bands, and I freqently perform as a soloist. I have extensive experience with electronic music and modular synthesizers. I have recorded 10 albums as a soloist, and I have played as a side man on many others.
I teach private lessons since the mid-1990s, and I have taught Jazz History at UW-Green Bay. For 2 years, I taught general music at L. B. Clarke Middle School in Two Rivers as a long-term substitute. I have given workshops and master classes at several colleges and high schools. Since 2007, I have worked as a substitute teacher for the Mantowoc and Two Rivers Public School Disctricts. I worked as a classical music critic for the American Record Guide from 2012 to 2015, writing over 100 articles.
Master of Music 1995, New England Conservatory
• Piano and composition with Joe Maneri
• Composition with Scott Sandvik
• Ensembles with Stephen Drury, Frank Battisti
• Honors ensembles, 1993-94 and 1994-95
Bachelor of Music 1993, Conservatory at Lawrence University
• Piano and chamber music with Catherine Kautsky
• Piano Pedagogy with Kathleen Murray
• Composition with Ken Schaphorst
• Master classes with Lee Luvisi, Robert MacDonald, Aleck Karis and (as accompanist) Janos Starker and Dale Deusing
Private Studio 1996 – present
• Classical piano
• Beginner, intermediate and advanced levels; students aged 5 – 80
• Composition, theory and improvisation
• Recitals and Master Classes
L. B. Clarke Middle School:
• General Music, grades 5-6, 2011 – 2013
Manitowoc Public School District:
• Substitute teacher, 2008 – present
University of Wisconsin – Green Bay:
• Jazz History, 2008
• Freelance pianist: soloist, accompanist and chamber musician, 1994 - present
• Open Interest Jazz Quartet, keyboardist 2004 – present
• Keyboardist and vocalist with many area pop/rock groups, including White Chocolate, the Soul Inspirations, and Separate Ways.
• Pianist, organist, and choir accompanist, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Manitowoc, WI, 2015 - present
• Celebration Church, Praise Team keyboardist, 2005 – 2015
• Performances at Lincoln Center, Boston Symphony Hall
• Performances with notable jazz and pop musicians including Luciana Souza, Bobby Vinton, Benny Golson, Janet Planet, Kenny Wheeler and Bob Moses
• Premiered works by John Harbison, Shirish Korde, Robert Ceely, Robert Cogan and John Salerno
• Staff accompanist, Boston Conservatory, 1994 – 96
• Introduction to Electronic Music, Two Rivers High School, 2012
• Intermediate Improvisation Techniques Using Classical Music as Source Material, Lawrence University, 2004
• Teaching Advanced Rhythms in Twentieth Century Piano Music, Wisconsin Piano Teachers' Forum, 2001
• Extended Composition Techniques for Improvisers, UW-Green Bay, 1999
Critic, American Record Guide magazine
• July/August, 2012 - September/October, 2015
• reviewed over 100 new recordings of works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Schöenberg, Carter, Haydn , Boulez and others (primarily
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