Following high school I attended CU Boulder and settled (after a few years of mindless deliberations) upon majoring in Journalism. After noticing that I was spending all my time in class sitting in back rows mapping out the guitar fretboard, I figured my time would be better spent as a music major. After a few years of intensive practicing I was accepted as a guitar major and finished up my time at CU in guitar Performance (classical). My studies under the great Charles Wolzien laid a much needed groundwork in the fundamentals of proper guitar technique. During this time I began performing in and around Boulder.
Also during my undergraduate years, I was privileged to study with Dale Bruning, a veritable institution of jazz guitar in the Denver/metro area. The years with Bruning provided me with foundational understanding of music and a solid introduction to the world of jazz guitar. This was a transformational experience and Mr. Bruning became a role model not just as a guitarist and teacher but as a human being as well. Since returning from Seattle (which I’ll get to in a minute) I’ve begun studying with Dale again and feel immeasurably lucky to have the opportunity to be around such a special man and musician on a consistent basis. It is largely my experiences with Dale that have made me realize what a joy and honor it is to be trusted as a teacher by so many.
After a brief stint living in New Zealand following college, I then moved to Seattle to explore the music scene and beautiful geography of the Pacific Northwest. While there I was once again very lucky to find a job at University Child Development School, an acclaimed independent elementary school. My three years at UCDS were invaluable as I was face to face with the challenging world of educating young children on a daily basis and able to learn from teachers that were truly world class. During my time in Seattle I became a regular at many of the city’s better known jam sessions in the very healthy Seattle jazz scene
While still in Seattle I also earned a Masters in Teaching (K-8) from Heritage University and was fully licensed to teach in Washington state and still maintain (though it goes currently unused) my Colorado teaching license.
In 2008, motivated in large part by the desire to be closer to my family, I returned to Boulder to pursue a Masters degree in Jazz Performance and Pedagogy from CU. After graduating in 2010 and purchasing a house the same year, my time has been solely devoted to my growing teaching studio and performing in a wide variety of musical settings.
My entry into the Suzuki community has been a major part of the last two years as I’ve become happily immersed in this wonderful world of passionate educators and students. It marks the beginning of what I know now will be a life-long involvement in music education and I couldn’t be happier.
For the past two years I’ve been the lead guitarist for the Andy Hackbarth band and have performed all over the country. In 2011 we were able to open for Los Lobos as well as perform live on the radio in Nashville. Our new album is coming out this fall and a tour of west will follow.
Currently I’m fully drowning in the rough waters that are my basement remodel and am, as always, looking for the right time to get a puppy.