I'm a professional musician and educator from New York City, which is where I've spent roughly 2/3 of my life, and where I currently reside. My 30,000+ hours of experience within music is expressed through my 9 years of conservatory training, which includes Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Music degrees, and my work as a trumpeter, composer, arranger, producer, and studio musician over the course of 20 years. I've recorded on 30 albums, including 2 under my own name for multiple record labels, and have written over 300 pages of scholarly work encompassing a wide variety of theoretical, musicological and pedagogical topics. I've also taught nearly 400 students over the past 7 years, including 3 years at the collegiate level.
I have been internationally recognized for excellence in music performance, composition, arranging and/or education through 20 awards, commissions and/or grants presented by the International Trumpet Guild (2X), The International Songwriting Competition (3X), The Herb Alpert Foundation, the Banff Center (2x), Chamber Music America, the School for Improvisational Music, the International Society for Improvised Music, the Association for Popular Music Education, the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers, the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers, the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the Juilliard School, the Actors Fund/Local 802 Musicians Union, the Jazz Foundation of America, the Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance, the Recording Academy/MusiCares, and the University of Colorado Boulder Music Advisory Board.
As an educator, I have taught multi-level in-person and virtual music playing/appreciation courses for greater-New York-area based organizations such as the Afro-Latin Jazz Academy, the Gramercy Brass Orchestra of New York, New York Ensemble Classes, the Lyceum Kennedy International School, Jubilee Enrichment Programs, Jazz Empowers and the New York Jazz Academy. I have also completed 6 semesters of service as a Graduate Part-Time Instructor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where I taught multiple playing ensembles as well as 3 semesters of a 100+ student History of Jazz lecture class for non-majors.
While I specialize in the following broad areas of musical study, my specialties are not limited to: General Music, Composition, Arranging, Ear Training, Music History (includes classical, jazz, and world musics), Music Theory, Sight Singing, and Songwriting. I also specialize in the following instruments: Trumpet, flugelhorn, and Piano/Keyboards. My home studio is complete with weighted 88-key digital piano, Bose high quality speakers, audio and video recording equipment (Beyerdynamic M-160 microphone, Audient iD4 interface, Logic Pro X, Final Cut Pro X), as well as a vast music library, musical media, and tablature spanning many musical genres, cultures and time periods.
After working as a public after-school teacher, as well as in the field of child-care and mentorship since 2004, through my experience, I have found that serving as a role model has become an incredibly effective teaching method. Any child or any human being for that matter is receptive and responsive to a teacher who is sure of themselves, and their preaching; a teacher who is articulate and direct with their words and actions; and a teacher who can be trusted and who makes their student feel comfortable in their presence. These three basic characteristics I've found, win over a students faith in a teacher, and greatly increase the rate of comprehension, application, and acquisition of knowledge.
I develop my curriculum around student interests, which fosters motivation and stimulates the passion to learn. One way to steer learning in a direction relevant to student interest, is to invite student dialogue about the lessons and units of study. Given the opportunity for input, students generate their own ideas and add to the pre-existing ones that have fostered my own imagination, and impact how I develop my lessons. When students share ownership in the curriculum, they feel a strong sense of purpose, are motivated to work hard, to set and accomplish their own goals, and to perform well.
Having studied and worked with musicians of world class ability for the past 8 years, I have adapted effective teaching techniques, and fused them with my own skills and knowledge to create a flexible approach that can mold itself to the abilities, individual needs and goals of a student or a program as a whole. Through my continued studies in music, and many other fields, my ability to relate to all people, including students continues to grow. I am able to quickly assess what kind of approach is appropriate for a group or an individual, and I have experience implementing practices that directly improve learning ability, interest in and comprehension of material. I understand the importance of time management, creative thinking, attention to detail and the ability to make something difficult seem fun and worthwhile.
I believe and live by the idea that creativity is an energy that flows through us, and one's creative abilities can be improved and expanded, through the emotional body, which is influenced by one's perceptions. Throughout my training in music, the arts, as well as my physical, mental and spiritual pursuits, I have realized that discipline, creative flow, and love for what one is and what one does can come together and yield great fulfillment and sense of purpose.
I look forward to being a part of your journey!