Music is, and always has been, a passion of mine. I picked up the guitar at the age of eight, and except for a brief hiatus in middle school, I’ve played ever since. I’ve dabbled in pretty much every genre of guitar music imaginable, from jam bands to classical, fingerstyle blues and country to Celtic, bluegrass to heavy metal, and everything in between.
After high school I enrolled at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Upon taking an Intro to Ethnomusicology class I was drawn to the sounds of non-Western music. I joined the Indonesian Gamelan ensemble, which I played in for the next two years.
In the summer of 2005 I attended a study abroad program with Temple University in Dhrangadhra, India. I regularly spent up to six hours a day with my teacher studying the Indian classical guitar, or Mohan Veena. This was my first in depth study of Hindustani (North Indian) classical music, though it had been an interest since my early teenage years.
Upon graduation I briefly interned for the Calliope Society of Folk Music in Pittsburgh, PA. Here I discovered Old-Time and American roots music and seriously began studying the five-string banjo, mandolin, and Appalachian dulcimer.
In 2007, in Philadelphia, I became interested in the craft of luthiery and guitar repair. I served as an apprentice to luthier Bob Zatzman for close to two years. During this apprenticeship I gained practical experience in the maintenance and repair of all sorts of fretted instruments.
I moved to Vancouver, BC in 2010 to pursue an MA degree in ethnomusicology at the University of British Columbia. I began teaching correspondence lessons via Skype with a number of students in Philadelphia. The correspondence lessons offer many new possibilities as a teacher due to the immediate presence of the resources of the internet. Online lessons have grown into a significant proportion of my teaching schedule.
My time in Vancouver allowed me to hone many of my music analytical skills in courses such as Musical Categories and Concepts, Melody and Mode, and African Rhythm. I also was exposed to new musical traditions by participating in and performing with the UBC African Drum and Dance Ensemble and the UBC Capoeira Angola group.
My hobbies and interests outside of music include hiking, boxing, and Muay Thai. I currently live in Koh Samui, Thailand, teaching music, writing instructional materials, and training at Jun Muay Thai.