I have always been very committed to teaching and sharing what I’ve learned over the years. I had a dream to live, work and teach as a musician in Europe. Using this rich cultural environment as a launching pad to more and more places and experiences.
I began coaching trombone and tuba at a music camp in the mountains above Palm Springs in 1988 with my principal mentor Gary Pratt. I think that is when I caught the “teaching bug”. Around that time I began teaching private trombone lessons from my home near Los Angeles. In 1990, I worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District on a special project teaching junior high school trombone students at Northridge Junior High School and culminating with the filming of a “How to play trombone” Video. While attending Cal State University Northridge, I put together and directed many classical and jazz chamber music ensembles with my fellow music students.
In graduate school at Indiana University, I was appointed assistant instructor of the African American Arts Institute from 1996 to 1998 where I helped to direct the IU Soul Review. Additionally, during the summer breaks I co-directed a jazz big band comprised of music students. Throughout my studies in Indiana, I continued to give private lessons to students in the Bloomington community.
I am so fortunate to have studied with some truly great teachers
Joel Leach, Gary Pratt, Bill Booth, Les Hershberger, Larry Thornton, Dirk Fischer, M Dee Stewart, David Baker and Pat Harbison were probably the most influential. Each of these educators has a completely different style. I find myself quoting each of them every time I teach a lesson or direct an ensemble. But one thing they all shared was the certainty that if you keep trying and work hard enough you can achieve your artistic goals. This is something that I try to convey to my students.
Since relocating to the South of France in 2007, I have been hired as trombone and tuba teacher, jazz band director, brass ensemble instructor, improvisation and music theory instructor at the Music Schools of La Londe les Maures, Frejus and the Rostropovitch-Landowski Conservatory of the Gulf of Saint Tropez.
In past concert tours in Japan my friend and colleague Don Gibson and I have given masterclasses and workshops from grade school concert bands to amateur adult jazz orchestras. We hope to continue that activity in future visits to that wonderful country.