My academic training in composition consists of a masters degree in composition (Roosevelt University) and doctorate in composition (Ball State University). I served as professor of composition/theory for 12 years at Ball State. I have written chamber works, including a tonal piece for chamber orchestra and voice ("Scenes From Japan"), an atonal string quartet, a composition for brass quintet, a series of contrapuntal compositions using neo-tonal and twelve-tone techniques, short piano works, and original compositions arranged for small and large jazz ensembles. I am currently writing a commission for the Chicago All-City Jazz Band.
My teaching in composition stresses helping each student develop an individual style, based on personal cultural experience. Effective music requires good technique (including an understanding of orchestration, harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic structure, and formal growth) as well as a personal involvement with stylistic elements. Above all, I encourage each student to convey a significant message through each composition.
My academic preparation in ear training consists of classes at Berklee College of Music and Roosevelt University. I served as ear-training coach while at Roosevelt. I always incorporate ear training in my piano teaching.
When teaching ear training, I follow a standard university curriculum, starting with recognizing and notating basic tonal harmonic material (intervals and chords), tonal melodies, and simple rhythms. More-advanced work would consist of recognizing and notating modulating progressions, atonal materials, and polyrhythms/changing meter. I encourage each student to practice daily. Usual activities include taking melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic dictation, sight singing, and developing musical memory. My students usually make great progress, enjoy their lessons, and are motivated to work diligently.
I have twelve years of experience teaching Music Appreciation, Jazz History, History of Popular Music, and Rudiments of Music Theory at the college level. For Music Appreciation, I stress knowledge of major style periods (Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist, Twentieth Century) with an emphasis on listening to important compositions and learning about major composers.
For jazz, I can cover influences leading to the development of early jazz, and style periods from Early New Orleans, through Swing, Bebop, Cool, Hard Bop, Free, Third Stream, Fusion, and current eclectic developments. Because jazz is such an individualistic art, the focus is always on learning the works, influences, and lives of important innovators. Popular Music includes blues roots, through the many sub-genres dating from the early 1950s through the present. Rudiments of Music Theory offers an opportunity for students to become familiar with basic scales, rhythms, and harmonic materials that form the basis of western musical language.
I have 10+ years successful experience teaching music history at the college level, including European Art Music, Jazz, and American Popular Music. I focus on major figures, important compositions, major style periods, and the cultural influences that have helped drive developing style changes. This teaching can be useful to high school students who are in advanced classes (or preparing for college) and college students who need help achieving higher grades.
This could also be useful for college students who want to take CLEP tests (these are examinations that many universities accept as college credit). I can help you learn what you will need to know in order to pass these tests.
Music theory has been an integral part of my training in music composition. I have academic training at the masters and doctoral levels in jazz theory, traditional (common practice) theory, and set theory. I have over a decade of experience teaching music theory and composition at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
I have over twenty years experience teaching private piano, and performing at festivals, clubs, recitals, and private events. My teaching stresses developing sound basic musicianship, including technique, sight reading, expression, improvisation, and recital preparation. My students consider me patient, enthusiastic, motivating, clear, and open to individual interests and goals. I have many returning adult students, as well as beginners of all ages, and professional performers working at expanding their skills.
I usually teach sight singing as part of an ear-training program. I have experience teaching sight singing at colleges and in a private studio. My students consider me patient, enthusiastic, motivating, and dedicated to seeing their skills improve. This is a great program for vocalists who want to "professionalize" their skills and have access to new material. This is also great training for college students who struggle with their ear-training classes.
I stress moving from basic materials to the more complex, and encourage every student to develop a great daily practice routine.
My songwriting experience includes setting words to music, setting music to words, and writing instrumental works. I have written about 100 songs (popular, jazz, Latin, and eclectic), of which a number have been recorded and are available through various retail outlets.
I can help students learn how to
1. write an effective harmonic progression
2. understand and compose using standard 32-bar and 12-bar song forms
3. write an effective melody (with expressive climactic points)
4. notate their ideas and completed songs
5. copyright their songs
6. record and produce their songs
Most of all, I can teach students the process of developing their musical ideas into artistically compelling finished products.