2014

For half of my life, I have been a gigging, teaching, touring, recording, composing, and arranging musician all around the U.S. It is through great fortune and gratitude for friendships with very talented people that my own music endeavors thrive!

July 2012, Hubbard Glacier

Higher Education

In order to accomplish more of my mission work with equitable access to education I returned to school and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services with a minor in Psychology at Ottawa University online in June 2018 and a Master of Education: Curriculum and Instruction inĀ August 2019. I dedicated my graduate thesis research to Guitars in the Classroom to expand GITC’s reach into rural areas of the U.S. while expanding the scope of my own teaching through online and webcam classes.

Gigs

From musical theater orchestra pits to cover bands, having to sightread or learning songs by ear, jamming with new musicians to composing with old friends…every day is a different musical experience. Although I have played with numerous cover bands and original projects over the years, those gigs were learning experiences and preparations for the solo/duo gigs and bands that I have the honor of playing with today and the future.

Music Education

When I first started playing the flute in 1992 at 11 years old, I knew within the first week that I was going to be a Music Educator as I was so enthralled at the opportunity to play music because of a school that provided the instruments and caring teachers. My training started immediately, even if I was not aware of it, and by the time I was 15 I was teaching private lessons. By 21, I had 60 private students and became a music educator in schools by 25.

After I moved to Hollywood in 2005 I started teaching at public and private schools with during- and after-school classes while still teaching private lessons in the Los Angeles area. When I came back from cruise ship gigs I took in 2012 I continued to teach and expanded my skillset into professional developments for classroom and music teachers. My patient, respectful approach to education was in demand more than I was able to keep up with, but I am grateful that so many around Los Angeles wanted to study with me or have me teach at their school.

In June 2017, I took these experiences to other parts of the U.S. with Guitars in the Classroom, private lessons at my home and online studios, and teaching ESL to kids in China with VIPKID. I love traveling throughout the country!

For more information on my educational experiences: Educating

Touring

The initial reason I wanted to be in the band at school was that they traveled, so music has been a vehicle for a lot of the traveling I’ve done. From international tours with big bands to national tours with original bands, I have been to all 50 United States and have been exposed to a greater global community.

Fukuoka School of Music with Risa and Kana-Japan, 2001

With FourWayFree in Pittsburg, 2006

From 2007-2011, I focused on teaching and gigging locally until the end of 2011 when I decided to travel on cruise ships as a musician. As much as I loved meeting people from all over the world and made amazing friends, traveling to distant lands via the ocean, practicing my instruments and fitness, and performing every night to thankful guests, I was back in Southern California in November 2012 and very glad to be home.

Kailua Kona, Hawaii, October 2012

Driving all over the U.S. in a converted minivan-sleeper allowed me to get to know far reaches of this country to prepare for having a bigger impact as an educator. My performing and travel experiences have enriched the work I am focused on today!

Composing/Arranging/Recording

My favorite aspect of being a musician is composing and collaborating with others. The solo movie/album venture I dedicated many years to has given me experience with recording technologies that have led to many other opportunities. With Pro Tools, Logic ProX, Sony Vegas Pro, and Final Cut Pro, I have been able to enhance student progress, create demo and promotional videos, and make a musical theater documentary.

TWotW performance 3

The arranging I have done for music of all styles, from etudes for aspiring musicians to orchestral jazz arrangements with full score notation, have continued to challenge my musicianship. I’ve arranged for school orchestras, educational institutes, cruise ship guest entertainers, and cover band. My favorite arrangements tend to be the songs I perform as a solo guitarist, relishing in the challenge of making a song sound complete with just one instrument while playing the chords, melody, and rhythmic nuances.
Mime Guitar