I first realized that my relationship to music was a crucial part of my identity in seventh grade. I was walking out of the cafeteria listening to Beethoven’s op.14, the Moonlight Sonata, whenI stopped and thought to myself, “I am a pianist.”My peers had developed their own interests; theydid athletics, participated in debate, or were drawnto the visual or theatrical arts, but what made me “me” was my relationship to the piano — it wasthe cornerstone of my life and the thing which gave it definition. I believe it was at that moment when I decided to dedicate my life to music. I think the seed for my love of music was planted by my French grandmother, a petite women we affectionately called Bonnemaman. She was a fantastic woman who felt things strongly and had been raised on a diet of Wagner, Rachmaninoff, and Debussy. She was raised in an artistic household; her
father was a painter and her mother a harpist from the Paris Conservatory who later taught piano. She had also studied piano but had dropped it when her teacher started her on Chopin, which turned her off from learning the instrument. She never lost her love
of music though. Growing up, I remember we would sit and listen to CDs of various works and talk until, at some particularly wonderful point in the music
she would stop and say “Listen to that, ah that is magnificent!” I consider my Bonnemaman to be my most important teacher because she taught that before anything else, music must first make you feel. I first began studying the piano at eight with a
teacher who would come to my home. After that, I eventually moved to a more advanced instructor, travelling to her home every Sunday. She actually almost killed my interest in the instrument and I took a break, pursuing composition instead. When I went to study at Bard College, however, I found a very good teacher and my desire to play the piano
was rekindled. He taught me not only how to play with good technique but how to be imaginative with my playing and engage intellectually with the music. While there, I had the opportunity to play works by Mozart and Beethoven, but also more recent composers like John Cage, John Adams, and Lou Harrison. I also developed a particular love for the works of Alexander Scriabin and Olivier Messiaen, whose ecstatic creations appealed to my philosophy of music being an essentially experiential event. In addition to two
senior concerts, I was given the opportunity to accompany vocalists, and played with the
American Symphony Orchestra in the Adagio from Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, which I consider my proudest moment as a performer. After graduating, I spent two years working odd jobs and eventually moved to the Twin Cities and decided to begin teaching. After trying my hand at working in a kitchen, and brief stint in customer service, I decided to take what I love and find a way to make a living in it. Since then, I have had the opportunity to open a studio at Schmitt Music in Edina, where I usually have around 20 students. In addition to that, I have opened up my own private studio in my apartment at the Schmidt Artists Lofts, and look forward to growing that as well.
Teaching has added a completely new dimension to my musical life. It gives me an opportunity to share my passion for music with individuals of all
ages and walks of life and hopefully instill a little of it in them. It has also made me a better listener, and I enjoy the challenge of figuring out what each student needs before they leave the lesson. I look forward to offering my services to the community and helping to contribute to its musical life in my own small way.


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