I have considerable experience arranging music and have created original compositions as well. I studied composition privately for one year in college, and my work has been performed by professional theater groups (incorporated into plays) as well as the Augsburg College jazz band. I believe that all musicians should learn to write music and that the classical divide between performers and composers should be broken down. Learning to write your own music helps you better understand and interpret others' compositions.
I studied ear training formally for two years in college, and I have created well over 100 full arrangements and transcriptions of pop, rock, and jazz songs for all kinds of instruments by taking melodies and chords from recordings. I consider ear training vital and often overlooked in the education of younger students. They should learn to play by ear, work on their intonation early and often, and easily identify intervals and chords and translate them to their instruments, rather than being limited to playing what they can read on a page of sheet music (but reading is important too!).
I have had a comprehensive musical education and a well-rounded career to date, and it is my goal to teach professionally. I recognize how students' educational needs may vary widely depending on their personal relationship with music, and a general music education must be balanced for each student to meet these needs. I am in favor of a broad musical education with students' own choices determining their areas of deeper focus.
I studied music history for three semesters as an undergraduate and received excellent grades. I did not focus on history, but I have a strong academic background as well as a critical appreciation for both the Western classical canon and the more recent history of jazz and popular music. I feel comfortable teaching academic topics and can easily brush up on details as they become relevant to the needs of a particular student.
I began playing the trombone in 1995 before I began sixth grade. It was my major instrument in college, where I played in the orchestra, concert band, and jazz band and gave a solo recital on tenor and alto trombone.
After college, I played with a classical brass quintet and taught a few private lessons, then took a full time job performing jazz and pop on Carnival Cruise Lines from 2007 to 2009. I am now a graduate student at Augsburg College, performing in the jazz band again and preparing a graduate-level solo recital while taking classes in education and pedagogy.