Teaching Philosophy

I teach voice, oboe, piano, improvisation, and composition in my private home studio in Santa Monica. I have a unique approach to teaching due to my background in neuroscience- specifically how the brain learns and changes through music, the psychology of learning and behavior, and vocology-the science of singing. While studying music at UCLA, I was also Pre-Medicine, and worked in the labs of Neurologists Dr. Mark Tramo, Dr. Susan Bookheimer, and Drs. Hanna and Antonio Damasio at USC. My coursework and research in these areas provide extensive understanding of evidence-based learning; how humans best learn pitch, rhythm, the most effective practice methods for training the brain, and for training muscles, as well as an understanding of the multi-modal cognitive processes that occur when a person listens, plays, and creates new music. Please see my CV and resume for specific coursework and research projects.

In addition to my background in neuroscience, I have received world-class conservatory training from my master teachers. Their artistry and practice techniques have been passed down through a long lineage of pioneer singers, oboists, and pianist/composers. I have great respect for the teaching art of my USC Oboe Professors Marion Kuszyk, Dr. Joel Timm, and Alan Vogell, as well as my Oberlin Professors Robert Walters, Mingjia Liu, Eugene Izotov, Robert Atherholt, and Chris Philpotts, and my UCLA Professor Dr. Jonathan Davis. This community of oboists is a laboratory of artists who share their unique perspectives regarding interpretation of music, practice techniques, mindfulness, inner game of auditions and performance, and reed making. Similarly, my voice professors at USC, Elizabeth Hynes, Rod Gilfry, and Lynn Helding, have shared their vocal artistry, and knowledge of vocology with me. Through my individual studies, as well as observation through master classes, I have developed an arsenal of vocal training techniques for all voice types. As a pianist I have studied classical, and world/jazz with masters including Jamey Haddad, Stephen Mann, Andre Meihmari, and Alon Yavnai whose global perspectives on improvisation have given me a very open mind with regard to sound. My philosophy is such that folk and improvised music have an equal place on the musical stage with classical music, and these diverse perspectives are a treasured presence deserving of intensive study. 

In my work with all students, we develop a technique that meets the individual’s expressive goals, and physical demands of the instrument. Health and longevity are a primary focus; we must employ a technique that gives the most beautiful sound with the easiest mode of production. My goal is always to empower students with efficient learning techniques, to practice calm confidence into every session, and to build self-reliance through setting and achieving short-term and long-term goals.