- To provide quality instruction in reading, writing, and performing music
- Over 25 years experience teaching music in both private lesson and group environments (guitar, bass guitar, ukulele, banjo, mandolin, autoharp, keyboard, piano, sound recording, and songwriting)
- Accomplished in conveying instrumental techniques and interpretation strategies to students with traditional and non-traditional learning styles
- Progressive methods for teaching music notation to students with learning disabilities, giftedness, and select special needs students
- Proficient in composition, music theory, music history, musical acoustics, and MIDI
- Invited to speak at the International Conference of Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (2015)
- Consultant to the Special Ed teacher at ChiArts (Chicago High School for the Arts) (2010)
- Resource for the Pacific Northwest Librarians (2010)
- Instructor at Action Music and Sound (2000 – 2005)
- Instructor with the Music Teachers Collaborative (1998 – 2001)
- Director of the Boston Songwriters Workshop (2002 – 2008)
- Arranger for Cornerstone Christian Music Worldwide, Inc. (2001)
- Directed the musicals Star Quest, Mt. Extreme, and Ocean Odyssey (1998 – 2000)
- Developed F.B.C. Sudbury’s Kids Music Club program (1998 – 1999)
- Career Counselor for the Berklee College of Music Career Fair (1998 – 1999)
- Wrote the theme music for the Eastern Mass. Royal Family Kids Camp (1997 – 1999)
- Member of the Praise Team for the B.C.N.E.’s 1998 Music Conference, directed by international recording artist Juan Manuel Saa
- Leader of the Lowell Campus Ambassadors Music Team (1991 – 1995)
- Vice President of the Lowell Chapter of the National Assoc. of Jazz Educators (1990)
- Earned the Music Award from R.F.K.C. for the song Great Adventure (1997)
- Won second place in the Instrumental category of the 1997 V.O.C.A.L. Song Contest
- Published in Musiczine, American Songwriter Magazine, the BSW Newsletter, the Songwriters of Wisconsin International Newsletter, the Minnesota Association of Songwriters Newsletter, and a series of articles in the Dyslexic Reader (on teaching children with learning disabilities to read music)
- Interviewed for the book the Savvy Musician by David Cutler
- BA Music, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA
- Studied guitar with William Buonocore (University of Massachusetts, Lowell)
- Studied piano with Marilyn Roth (University of Massachusetts, Lowell)
- Two years private study in jazz composition, arranging, and guitar techniques with Shawn K. Clement (A Hollywood television and movie composer)
- Over three years private study in voice with Sue Ellen Kuzma
My music education started at an extremely young age. My grandmother, who had a masters degree in baroque violin performance, started to teach me violin, but I kept trying to flip it over and play it like it was a guitar. (I wanted to be a cowboy.) I was around four or five years old when I started guitar lessons with a lady at the church that I grew up in.
I wrote my first song in second grade, I was eight years old at the time. The song was about Johnny Appleseed. My class was learning about him, and we had just taken a trip to an apple orchard. My teacher had me teach the song to the whole class, which was scary for me at that age. I can still remember, mostly, how it goes.
I studied music at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, formerly the University of Lowell. Composition and music history were my particular areas of interest. I took guitar and piano, with guitar as my main instrument, but I also sang in a vocal ensemble. My piano instructor could trace her musical lineage – the teacher who taught her teacher who taught his teacher, etc. – all the way back to Beethoven by way of Czerny.
I started teaching on and off after high school, but in 1998 I joined the Music Teachers Collaborative and began teaching full time. It was at this time that I met the student who would change my life. He had dyslexia, and that made teaching him a great challenge. It was a struggle to get him to learn anything. It was this experience that laid the foundation for the methods I use now: diagnostic teaching and multisensory techniques. The teaching strategies have developed to the point where a student with learning disabilities can be playing immediately and may start the process of reading “unaided” as early as six months and at least by the time the student reaches intermediate material. The students have fun, learn, make progress, and achieve success in their musical experience.