"Students may not realize I have a trumpet background when they come to me, but I think it makes me stronger as a teacher. I think the trumpet has really upped my sight-singing skills, which makes a difference when I teach sight-singing and jazz improvisation."
"I had really good teachers even before Berklee, and at Berklee I studied with Mili Bermejo—she was wonderful with technique. My teachers were all hard on me, and I think that was a good thing. In my own teaching, I've become tougher; I've learned that students want you to be hard on them."
"When I'm trying to get something across to a student, I try to put myself in their place. I might even make myself do what they're doing wrong. But I won't move on until the student gets it; I'll keep trying different approaches until they feel what I'm trying to explain. It's really hard to incorporate all the technique in a song. A student might get it in the warm-ups, but then when they start to sing the song, it's not there. It takes time."
"Aside from wanting my students to have good vocal technique, I want them to come out with good musicianship skills. I want them to be able to count off tunes and know when to come in on the tune. I always make them count things off for me in the lessons so they'll learn to be direct with their band or their accompanist. I also want my students to be able to write their lead sheets, and do their own transpositions."
"Even though I take my classes seriously, I want to keep things fun. It means a lot to me that my students like what they're doing."