I started my musical journey with the alto saxophone in middle school band. Meanwhile I took private lessons on the saxophone and piano. After high school, I studied music at Pomona College in Southern California. At that time, I realized that piano was going to give me the broadest exposure to music theory and the rich history of Western music.
Teaching has always been a passion of mine, and I began tutoring math, French, and writing during my college years. After graduating I worked as a teacher's assistant at the French American International School in Portland and at Westview High School in Beaverton. I was lucky to work with and learn from excellent teachers and be exposed to preschool through high school age students. I started teaching private saxophone, clarinet, flute and piano lessons at this time. Meanwhile I continued my own music education. My teachers include Rob Scheps on saxophone, flute, and clarinet, Cynthia Gerdes on classical piano, Randy Porter on jazz piano, and Mary Kogen for piano pedagogy.
Many piano teachers with advanced music degrees receive no training in pedagogy (the art of teaching). After taking pedagogy courses, I decided to get certified with the Music Teachers National Association. The certification requires videos of my performances, of me teaching lessons, and about 70 pages of essays and other written material. To learn more about MTNA Certification, please click here.
Although my music life takes up most of my time and energy, I try to be as well rounded as possible. Right after college I moved to Paris and learned French, which helped me get a job teaching piano lessons at the former Portland French School. Pickup basketball and other sports compete for my attention. Learning Spanish is high up on my bucket list. My cats are and important part of my life... and helped inspire my logo. Check them out here!
I don't actively perform on saxophone anymore, but I was very pleased to play with local jazz luminaries John Nastos, Gary Harris, and Mary Sue Tobin in a saxophone quartet. We were coached by internationally known jazz saxophonist and composer Rob Scheps.