Students improve their skills starting with a wonderful method book called The Standard of Excellence and their own school band music. These skills create a solid musical ground floor from which students can advance, and include: the development of beautiful tone quality, beat, rhythm, duration of note, range, breath control, dynamics, phrasing, artistic style, performance skills, music theory and jazz improvisation.
The lessons are fun and I compliment my students frequently. When needed, I make positive and constructive corrections. The student is given a vision for the future, of the great fun and benefits that music education and performance can add to one’s life. I encourage practice and continued participation in their school Concert and Jazz Bands, Honor Bands, Talent Shows, Solo and Ensemble Festivals, and Civic Bands.
John has taught all Woodwinds and Brass Instruments equally as well in School Bands in public and private schools for 20 years, grades 3-12, and privately for 17 years. (see student Brass and Woodwind student awards below). He has a Bachelor of Music with emphasis in Music Education as well as a Lifetime California Teaching Credential. His University Supervisor said in his teacher recommendation; John is one of the finest teachers I have ever observed. He received the school Band Award in both elementary and high school, and a Scholarship to the University of Pacific Music Camp. After High School, he became a tennis and swimming instructor for six years during summers while going to college. Upon graduating, he taught in public schools and spent several summers as Senior Faculty Member of the Cazadero Music Camp as well as Dean of Boys and Recreation Supervisor, supervising Recreation Leaders, 24 Counselors and 1000 Students.
Brass Instruments Student Honors:
Daisy (13), Principal Trombonist of 2012 Northern California Jr. High School Honor Band with Scholarship to Cazadero Music Camp, and one of only six sophomores in the 85 piece group 2014 Northern California High School Honor Band;
Pete, Trumpet, sat Third Chair California All State Honor Symphonic Band, Principal Chair Nor Cal Honor Band, received a Command Performance rating at Solo and Ensemble Festival, and is now First Chair in Las Vegas’ Best Show Band (According to his sister);
Luis, Freshman on Double French Horn, Principal of Marin High School Youth Symphony Orchestra and member of 2017 California All State Honor Band, (also All Northern California Honor Band), only 29 High School Freshman were in this group of 300 after 6000 students auditioned. Luis is one of three Freshman French Hornists of the 32 in All State Honor Band, and the only Freshman of the 10 in All Northern California Honor Band, in which he was 5th chair. He also played Principal Trumpet in his H. S.’s Musical;
Lukas, Euphonium (Baritone Horn) player, was Third Chair 2015 California All State High School Honor Symphonic Ban, received a $750 scholarship to the Cazadero Summer Music Camp, and Principal Chair of the All Northern California High School Honor Band;
Johnny, on Euphonium, performed with the 2016 All-Northern California Jr. High Honor Band and received a $750 scholarship to the Cazadero Summer Music Camp;
Robby, Bass Trombone, received an ‘Outstanding Musicianship’ Award from 2017 Folsom Jazz Festival Judges, and the MSA trophy for the 2015 ‘Most Improved Jazz Musician Award’ from the Marin School of the Arts;
Ryan, Trombone, selected for the Rookie of the Year Award by his Band Director at Redwood High School for 2014;
Josh, on Trumpet, received school’s trophies for Most Improved Jazz Musician, and ‘The Best Improviser’ Jazz Trophy for 2016.
Thomas, trumpet, received the MSA trophy for the Most Improved Jazz Musician Award in 2011 from the Marin School of the Arts;
Alan, was Principal Tuba player for the Nor Cal Honor Band and received a Superior Rating at Solo and Ensemble Festival;
Elizabeth, Trumpet, was Principal Trumpet of the Marin Youth Symphony Crescendo Orchestra, and played first trumpet parts for its High School Orchestra;
Danny, Principal Trumpeter of the Marin County Honor Band and Marin Symphony’s Crescendo Orchestra, performed four years with the High School Youth Orchestra, and was featured on Trumpeter’s Lullaby by Leroy Anderson in eight grade. He began taking lessons in fifth grade and after two year sat Second Chair out of 19 chairs in the 7th-9th session at Cazadero Music Camp;
Sam, Trombone, played for three years in the Marin Youth Symphony High School Orchestra;
Collin started Trombone September in fifth grade. Auditioning for next year’s Jazz Band, his teacher told the band that Collin had the best audition of all sixth through eighth grade Trombonist.
Woodwind Instruments Student Honors:
Tom became the Lead Alto Saxophonist of the California All State Honor Jazz Band, won the ‘Best Soloist Award’ at two Jazz Festivals, and later taught at Eastman School of Music the summer before his freshman year and now is featured on five CDs and two of his own as a woodwind specialist and producer in New York City;
And from his mom: “I don’t know when I can see you in person to thank you for your profound influence on Chris’ musical life, so let me thank you by email and show you this wonderful letter that came this week. You’ve been a great teacher. Warmly, Phyllis.” (Music Conservatory acceptance letter):
“Congratulations on your admission to Lawrence University, and your recent acceptance into the Bachelor of Music program. With competition for a place in next year’s clarinet studio so intense and places so limited, I hope you feel a real sense of pride in your accomplishment. The audition you recorded in San Francisco was excellent… Best regards, David Bell, Professor of Clarinet, Conservatory of Music”
Zakai, Alto Saxophone and U.C. Davis Student Director of Bands, awarded at Reno Jazz Festival by judges based on exceptional performance. He received his High School’s Band Award upon graduating and said in his graduation ‘Thank you’ note: “When I look at all the musical skills and knowledge that you have passed on to me, I realize that I couldn’t have asked for a better music teacher;”
Elizabeth, a fifth grade Flute Student, received the highest honor of ‘Command Performance’ on her solo at the Cal. Music Teachers’ Solo and Ensemble Festival;
Kenny and Katie were both Principal Chair Flute players in their High School Bands;
Chris, on Oboe, California All State Honor Symphonic Band, Principal Chair Nor Cal Honor Band, and received Command Performance rating at Solo and Ensemble Festival;
Jack, Third Chair Tenor Sax 2014 Northern California Jr. High Honor Band and placed First Chair for his school’s Jazz Band 2013;
After only five months of playing, Jonathan, a fourth grade Clarinetist of six months, won the Best Musician Award at a Solo and Ensemble Festival for fifth and sixth graders from ten schools;
Cathy was selected Baritone Saxophonist of the California All State Honor Symphonic Band;
Jim, Clarinet, was selected for the Nor Cal Honor Band.
Jazz Band Awards include:
First Place Redwood Empire High School Jazz Festival at Sonoma State University, with students awarded: Outstanding Soloist, Best Musician, Best Rhythm Section and Unanimous Superior for the Jazz Combo;
Awarded Best Overall Band of four High School Divisions and one College Division (80 total Bands) at the Sacramento City College Jazz Festival including: Best Soloist, and Best Combo Awards; Unanimous Superior at the Cal Music Educators Jazz Festival; Jazz Quintet selected to perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival.
Some of John’s other endeavors and associations have included:
Music Educators National Conference; Adjudicator for Festivals
National Association Of Jazz Educators
FAA Certified Pilot, V.P. NorCal Pilots Association
Varsity Tennis Team Most Valuable Player
Former Swimming and Tennis Instructor
Badminton Award: 2nd Place NorCal Badminton Association Tournament