Experience/training: I have been teaching music lessons at the academy since October of 2010 (5+ years), and studied under the mentorship of Gary Rhum for nearly three consecutive years prior to starting as an instructor. I began playing piano and percussion at a very early age, and took several years of lessons for both instruments as a child/early teen. I participated in the Western High School Band program for five years and was involved in the Western Drumline/Pit-Percussion during every marching season, where I first began learning how to listen and play with other musicians. I also achieved several awards under the ISSMA program with solo and ensemble pieces during this time, and was part of two marching seasons of which we won the ISSMA State Championship over every other Indiana school in our class. I began studying voice under the direction of my high school choir directress in 2008, and was selected to be in extra curricular choirs during my last two years of high school (including ISSMA's All State Choir and Butler University's Vocal Jazz Clinic). I shadowed Don Barrett (Los Angeles based composer of original music for major network film/television) for a short time after high school, and also began pursuing state-wide freelance performances as vocalist/multi-instrumentalist with an ongoing project named Shiny Penny (Alternative pop/rock band birthed in Kokomo, IN). Since then, Shiny Penny has recorded and released three independent studio albums filled with many of my original compositions. The band and I have also competed and won state wide competitions, performed alongside major label artists at Klipsch Music Center (Indianapolis, IN) on nationally known tours, interviewed on the nationally syndicated Bob and Tom Show, and have independently traveled to perform across the Midwestern, Southwestern, and Western regions of the United States.
Why I Teach Music: I believe that I have a God-given talent for being a musical artist, and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to use that talent to help others learn. I also have a God-given passion for building relationships with people, and my hope is that each student might give me enough access to their lives in order to help them discover more about how they can use the gifts they've been given and about who they are called to be. It is because of these two concepts that I believe God has put me here at this time in my life. I believe that the thirty minutes I spend with my students each week is valuable time that shouldn't be taken for granted, so I want to be as intentional as possible during my time with them. My hope for each student is that they would leave each week feeling growth in identity as well as musicality.