Degree(s): MM Saxophone Performance, The Hartt School, 2008
BM Music Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2006
Current Employment/Employer(s): Regional School District 13, Durham, CT, Band Director; 102d United States Army Band, Musician
Current Performing Experiences: Lead saxophonist with 30s/40’s swing band – Simply Swing
Advice for current students:
*Make the most of your time with Professor Koffman - She is a tremendous human being - she will help you be a better musician and a better individual.
*At Hartt you have the ability to hear diverse and engaging performances. Attend as many as you can *Explore other studios. Explore what you might not think you are into. Listen as much as you can.
*Practice often and efficiently: your time in school will allow the largest window for time to really with the instrument. Once you get outside of school - time and scheduling will be one of the hardest things to manage.
*Set both short term and long term goals for your playing - keep a daily journal.
*Really get to know everyone in your studio - your colleagues are a tremendous resource - look out for and take care of each other.
If you are planning on teaching in a school setting:
*Start interacting with kids as soon as possible (observe other teachers, teach private lessons) - the ability to read kids and engage them is so important.
*Be yourself - do not try to be someone that you are not - kids will recognize the difference.
*Steal ideas from teachers that are better than you - make them your own.
*Do not assume students will come to you wanting to learn music - it is your responsibility to get them fired up about it.
*Admit your own mistakes.
*Come to every class over prepared (i.e. score study - even if it is 4th grade material, know every fingering and know intricacy of any piece you are working on).
*Befriend every administrative and custodial staff member in the building - you will need their help a lot.
*Understand the responsibility you have - take it seriously and if you see yourself losing interest or getting complacent - get out - future musicians deserve the best you have.
*There is beauty in the struggle.