Howdy! I am a multi-instrumentalist born and raised in northern Kentucky and currently living in San Diego, California. I have studied music my whole life, and taken a wandering path through many styles. I began with classical music, studying piano and earning a doctorate in music. Along the way, I explored the traditional music of my family home on stringed instruments like the banjo, fiddle, guitar, and mandolin.
My wandering path between styles has given me a broad perspective on music that I try to pass on to all my students. I have learned music in a lot of different ways – through musical notation, through music theory, by ear, by feel – and I have found value in all of them. I consider this one of my greatest assets to you as a teacher: I can help you find a way of learning that serves both you and the music you want to play.
The study of music has been one of the most enriching parts of my life – teaching me the value of hard work and discipline, the joy and satisfaction that comes from mastering a skill, and patience. Teaching is my opportunity to share that enrichment. I love seeing students transform with their instrument. I love seeing their personalities change as they gain confidence, and discover an expanding passion for an instrument or style. It is a great reward to watch a student as they learn to identify and express their own musical ideas and tastes.
For years, I played folk music mostly for my own enjoyment before building a performance career that has now included appearances at folk festivals across the country. Still, nothing beats getting together to play with friends. That’s why I teach skills that will empower students to play with others.
Other accolades from my career include:
- In 2015, celebrated roots music publication No Depression called my work “a joyous and soulful restoration of one of the lost treasures of American musical tradition.”
- I am an official Deering Banjos Artist and have performed and appeared in both print and television advertisements for the company .
- In 2021, I became a teaching artist for the legendary Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop and produced three volumes of instructional videos on traditional fingerpicking styles.
- In 2022, for my work as a performer and educator, I received the commission of Kentucky Colonel, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the commonwealth of Kentucky.