I have been passionate about teaching since I was first asked to tutor a fellow kindergartener in counting and math skills. I love to show people how things work, breaking down work into simple steps, while guiding them to utilize such processes and critical thinking in applying acquired knowledge to new problems and concepts.
My work with youth programs since 2008 and experience in tutoring, along with my studies as a psychology major (Psychology Bachelor of Arts, UCSC), have given me valuable insight and skills essential to fostering students' acquisition and utilization of knowledge. I believe we all learn in different ways and at different rates, and I aim to vary my methods of teaching based on each individual's needs while maintaining structure and cohesion to my lesson plans.
Since a young age, I have also exhibited a passion and aptitude for music, and I enjoy sharing this love and knowledge of music with persons of all ages and skill levels, offering lessons in voice, violin, theory, guitar, ukulele, and piano, while also offering tutoring in math, writing skills, and a variety of other subjects, including psychology, and feminist theory.
My mother, musician, singer and songwriter with professional experience singing Jazz on Catalina Island and backup vocals for groups such as Station Braake and writing songs used by artists such as Keith Green, began my musical training including melodic memory in voice and basic rhythm on the guitar from a very young age. She also began giving me violin lessons when I showed interest around age 8. My grandfather, musician, sound engineer and record producer who was playing violin on stage at age four and who has professional experience recording and working with artists such as Ketty Lester and Sammy Smith via his studios in Bakersfield and as owner of Mega Records, gave me lessons in musicality, music business, and violin method and repair and maintenance. My grandmother taught me piano rudiments, and my aunt, long-time professional singer and voice coach, expanded upon my piano knowledge and vocal skills.
Outside of my family, I studied under George White in theory and violin from 1997-2001 while also performing with district honor orchestra annually, and I also studied and performed violin and French horn under Michael Stone while performing in an award winning marching band, district honor orchestra and honor band, and receiving Command Performance, the highest ranking in a musical competition for my performance with a small wind ensemble. I have performed in and soloed with, as well as leading rehearsals in directors' absences and holding the position of section leader in numerous choirs and received high marks in choral and solo competitions, studying under such notable directors as Gary Lamprecht of the Vocal Arts Ensemble. Upon graduating high school, I received multiple fine arts scholarships and began working as a professional musician including through my employment as a cantor with the Diocese of Monterey while furthering my musical studies at Cuesta College.
I received private jazz voice and piano lessons from Inga Swearingon, performed with groups led by John Knutson, and also studied music with Sister Theresa Harpin, Idonha Cabrinha, and Iva Svitek. I have taught voice and violin independently for years and was a teacher and programs coordinator at Music Motive, as well. I also have performed with and directed the annual Get on the Bus Benefit Concert, as well as pursued more musical ventures such as my performing voice and violin and writing and doing sound technician work with the SLO Newman Club, rock group Maddie and the Mendroids, jazz combo Donde Estas Thomas, grunge band The Sallies, folk artist Casey Lorraine, and more.
My performing arts experience goes beyond my musical background, as I have written and directed short theatrical presentations performed at various conferences and even played a chorus role in a UCSC production of In the Heights. More recently, I have worked as a middle school health and speech teacher, a youth musical theater director, and a youth programs coordinator, directed weekly rehearsals and monthly performances of a youth band through the Diocese of San Jose and worked as a productions manager for Western Ballet. I am a graduate of UCSC, with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, and have directed Musical Mondays, an after school program for first through sixth graders that puts on JR productions two times per year, while working as the Performing Arts and Productions Manager at a K-8 school, and coaching a variety of age groups on how to bring creativity into every aspect of life, all while raising my beautiful daughter and son with my wonderfully supportive partner.