A Very Brief Bio: I am a licensed K-12 music educator in the state of Massachusetts with a master’s degree in Music Education, a private instructor of both drums and piano in the Boston area, and an active performing musician.
For the much longer bio, keep reading…..
My father began teaching me piano when I was around 7 years old. While I did not have much interest in it at the time, I stuck with it until I became comfortable reading music and moving around the keyboard.
A few months before my 15th birthday, a friend of mine bought a drumset (just a little side note: the brand of his drumset was THOR. Pretty awesome, huh?). After sitting behind it for a few minutes I knew that I had to get one. I purchased a set of drums shortly after this (No Thor for me. My first set of drums was a Pearl Export Series), and became serious about practicing and improving. For the next couple of years I studied with teachers Rick Fiori and the late Tony DeNicola in Lawrenceville, NJ while gaining experience by playing in the Lawrence High School concert band, jazz band, pep band, and musical productions of Grease, Oklahoma and Meet Me In St. Louis.
The summer before my senior year of high school I attended the Summer Performance Program at the Berklee College of Music. This experience confirmed for me that I wanted to pursue a life and career involving music. After the conclusion of high school I attended the Berklee College of Music for 4 years, graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree. My major was Music Performance with drumset as my principal instrument. While attending Berklee I had the fortune of studying drumset privately with the following great teachers: Steve Wilkes, Jon Hazilla, Ian Froman, Kenwood Dennard, Dave DiCenso, Bob Kaufman, Casey Scheuerell, marimba lessons with Nancy Zeltsman and vibraphone lessons with Ed Saindon. Although I wish I could have studied with each of them more extensively, I also had the privilege during this time period of taking 2 lessons with Bob Moses, and single lessons with Joe Morello and Ralph Peterson, Jr.
Shortly after graduating from Berklee I had another amazing learning opportunity. I travelled with Berklee professor Joe Galeota and a group of 10 students to the country of Ghana in West Africa. For 3 weeks we studied Ewe drumming traditions at the Dagbe Arts Center in Kopeyia as well as Dagara xylophone music with Bernard Woma.
Back in Boston (as well as during a 2-year period living abroad in Tel Aviv, Israel) I performed with a variety of bands and artists. I currently play in 2 bands. Each of them perform regularly in the Boston area, as well as New York City and beyond.
In 2006 I decided to begin studying the piano seriously once again. I took lessons for the next 4 years with great classical instructor Lisa Caliri, and performed solo works at various recitals that she held.
After many years of considering a career teaching music, I decided to finally pursue it in 2008. I attended the graduate program in Music Education at the Boston Conservatory, was awarded my Massachusetts K-12 teaching license, and graduated with a master’s degree in May, 2010. During the second year of the program I taught as a student teacher under mentoring teachers Diane Muffitt at Wayland Middle School and Matt Clauhs at Boston Arts Academy. Both of these placements were amazing opportunities and the experience, advice and feedback I received from these wonderful teachers was extremely beneficial in my development as a music educator.