Trumpet, Music Theory, and Brass Ensemble Coach
How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching private lessons and music classes for 22 years.
Which Opus Music Academy locations do you work? Do you have your own studio? If so, where is it located? Do you offer in-home lessons?
I am available for lessons at both the Robbinsdale and New Hope locations, as well as in-home and virtual sessions.
What do you teach? Anything else you teach?
I specialize in teaching classical trumpet, but also offer instruction in any brass instrument. I have experience teaching music history, music theory, music appreciation and ear training courses.
What is your studio story? How did you get to where you are now?
I am a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where I studied with the legendary teachers Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer. From there, I gained professional orchestral experience as a graduate student at Wichita State University and Second Trumpet of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. After building an active freelance career in Chicago, I won an appointment with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans. Recent events led to opportunities in Minnesota, and my family and I moved to the Minneapolis area this past summer, where I have taken on a full time commitment to educating aspiring musicians.
What is one thing you think you do really well as a teacher?
My strongest trait as a teacher is my approach to students of varied backgrounds and experiences. While I am committed to teaching proper fundamentals and technique, I understand that the path to those skills may not be the same for every student. My ability to adjust to each student’s individual needs while still conveying the lesson goals and expectations allows me to connect to a broad base of students.
What is one thing you really struggle with as a teacher?
I would say that I sometimes do not include as much listening to recordings as a student should be exposed to as they study serious repertoire.
A funny student story:
One particular student, who was always overly critical of his own playing, was convinced that an audition for a statewide completion had gone very poorly, and was very upset about it. We spent the better part of an hour talking about it, what we do to bounce back from less than satisfactory performances, and even some stories about when I myself had played not so well in performances. At the very end of our heartfelt conversation, his mother texted him saying she had received an email stating that he had in fact advanced to the final round of this completion. He was packing up at that moment, and simply said, “umm, never mind”, and left the studio to go home.
What do you do to retain your students?
I make sure that students are engaged in every aspect of their learning, and have agency in what they are doing. I make sure to acknowledge all progress and achievements, no matter how big or small.
What is your niche? What sets you apart from other teachers?
I feel I have an excellent perspective on what a student needs to do to have the greatest possible success on their instrument. Having studied with some of the great pedagogues of trumpet, I feel that I am helping to pass down this information that has been proven successful for many generations of trumpet players. In addition, I have the added knowledge of having been a member of a full time symphony orchestra, and have worked with some of the finest conductors and soloists in the world. This combination of educational lineage and real world experience, as well as past student success, makes me an ideal teacher for the beginner, intermediate or advanced player.
What is your favorite band, artist, or composer? Why?
I’m not sure that I can honestly answer this question! I really love the German tenor Fritz Wunderlich, and for trumpet, Adolph Herseth, formerly of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, was essential to my development as a young musician. I’m also a huge Frank Sinatra fan!