Undergraduate: Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.
Hometown: Solon, Ohio.
Preferred student age: All.
Preferred student level: All.
How long have you been at Sherwood? Since fall of 2012!
What do you want to impart to your students through your teaching? I hope to share a love for the craft, as well as demonstrate how working with music and the voice can assist in building social skills, learning responsibility, building self-confidence, and most importantly having fun!
Are there specific methods or techniques that you use in your teaching that may be important to share with prospective students? Because every student has a different way of learning, it is my belief that each student should have each lesson specifically tailored to his or her particular needs, so I tend to morph the way I teach based on the way my students respond. Also, in all of my classes, I recognize that oftentimes playing with the voice is intimating and puts the students in a vulnerable state, so we come up with ways to make everyone as comfortable as possible with taking risks and making mistakes. In my classes there are no ‘wrong’ answers and definitely no tolerance for any mockery, and I think students find that reassuring.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? The light bulb moments - those brief moments where students finally master the skill that they’ve been working on for a very long time, and you get to witness them relish in their accomplishment. There’s nothing like watching you’re students progress, truly hone the craft, develop a passion for it, and then get to witness that moment when all of their hard work pays off and they finally master something they’ve been working really hard. That makes it all worth it.
Briefly describe your musical pursuits outside Sherwood. Outside of Sherwood, I’ve taught voice, dance, and acting all over northeastern Ohio. I also do private vocal and acting coaching here in Chicago. When not teaching or doing guest artist work, I’m often found performing myself! I’ve recently worked with Emerald City Theatre Company, Porchlight Music Theatre, Muse of Fire Theatre Company, and Clock Productions.
What is your earliest musical experience or best musical memory? Having my first big solo in the song “Build Me Up Buttercup” by the Foundations in a choir concert!
Please describe one of your favorite teachers or mentors. Kristina J. Ferencie. She gave me a pep talk that totally turned my career around, and told me to never give in or give up, and always keep trying.
Who is your favorite composer or what is your favorite musical period? That’s a tricky question. There are so many good ones to choose from. While I’m a huge fan of current contemporary music, I am a big believer that you have to appreciate your roots too. After all, without those guys, we wouldn’t have all of the other cool stuff we have today!