My name is Michael Scharf. I received a B.A. from Connecticut College in 2011, graduating Magna Cum Laude with honors in German and Philosophy and a 3.671 GPA. I really value education and believe that learning, and most importantly knowing how to learn is key for a happy and fulfilled life. I take my job as a tutor very seriously and will do my best to help students learn their material. To be clear, though I am eager to help students with their work I will not do the work for them. Please do not contact me unless you are serious about actually learning. Below is a little bit about me, the areas where I offer tutoring and where exactly I can be of most help to you.
In college, one of my majors was German. The topics I studied include the following: The German Enlightenment into German Romanticism, Terrorism in Germany: Red Army Faction, Adolescents in Contemporary Germany, Austria in Text and Film, Vienna Past and Present. Furthermore, I was rated as speaking German at the level of “Advanced High” after taking the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Oral Proficiency Exam for German. Finally, in the summer of 2012 I completed a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, where I spent 9 months in Dresden, Germany.
In addition to English, German is my mother tongue. Therefore I am best suited to help students at the more intermediate to advanced level of German who want to improve their speaking and reading skills. Depending on the level and willingness of the student, I can teach lessons in which the only language spoken is German. During tutoring sessions I can work on pronunciation, conversation and reading comprehension with students. Furthermore, I am also very familiar with German films, music and literature. I can bring these materials to lessons, since they are valuable aids for becoming familiar with German culture and thus for gaining a better understanding of the German language.
My second major in college was philosophy. I studied the following topics: History of Ancient Philosophy, History of Modern Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Body and Gender, Philosophy of Mind, The Vienna Circle and Wittgenstein, Hegel, Bioethics, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Comedy/Humor. The reason many people have a hard time with or even dislike philosophy is often because they have a misunderstanding of what it is, how to do it and why they should even bother with it. Philosophy is fun! Realizing this alone can make it easier for you. But, I know how frustrating it can be without the proper guidance or motivation, which is what I am here for. I love philosophy. It is something I am very passionate about and I truly believe the world would be a better place if more people did philosophy. This inspires me to do my best so that you can improve in it, get the most out of it and enjoy the benefits of having it be a part of your life.
I have studied and played drums for over 12 years, gaining experience playing in various musical settings including orchestra, percussion ensemble, New Music ensemble and rock band. In my musical journey I have learned many valuable lessons, some of which have been learned the hard way. I am eager to pass my experience and knowledge on to students so that they do not have to make the same mistakes I made.
I believe that technique and musicianship are the two main areas that need to be focused on and are also the two main areas in which drummers have the most difficulty. Getting rid of bad drumming habits is time consuming and very difficult so it is important for beginner drummers not to develop bad habits in the first place. I can help beginner drummers develop the right habits that will improve and benefit their playing in the short term as well as the long term. I have a basic knowledge of music theory and know how to read music (including drum notation) so I can help students with any music or songs they either have to learn for school or want to learn for fun. Furthermore, I also write my own music and have co-written songs with other musicians, so song writing is another area I am happy to offer help in.
I am flexible and lessons can be tailored to the student’s needs but the areas where I can be of the most help are: (1) Safe drumming (injury prevention, treatment, recovery and rehabilitation advice) (2) Technique Basics (stick grips, drum set up, rudiments)
(3) Groove and drum set basics (drum grooves, playing in time, playing with other musicians, musicianship).
Though drums are a true passion of mine, I am even more passionate about music and being a good musician than I am about being a good “drummer”. Understanding the distinction between “just drumming” and playing music is essential for playing the drums well. Most importantly it is essential for playing well with other musicians and being someone who other musicians want to play with and enjoy playing with. This is a point that is too often overlooked or ignored by drummers and is one that I will aim to drive home with all of my students.
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