I am an accomplished musician (trumpet, jazz improvisation) and college instructor (history, humanities, music) who is experienced with students at all levels and from a variety of backgrounds. I enjoy hands-on, one-to-one interactions with my students and use an approach based on mutual respect and cordiality. I particularly like helping students to develop reading, writing, and analytical skills that are useful in the social sciences and business. I also enjoy teaching music fundamentals, especially jazz theory and jazz improvisation with a creative approach that combines aspects of cultural understanding and music theory.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Los Angeles - Bachelors, Music
Graduate Degree: University of California-Los Angeles - Masters, African Area Studies
Trumpet, Jazz, Music
College Level American History
College World History
High School English
High School Level American History
High School World History
What is your teaching philosophy?
Mutual interest and inspiration are at the heart of my teaching philosophy. If I am able to convey my interest in my student’s success effectively, then I might be more able to inspire them to achieve the goals that are placed in front of them.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know the student on a personal basis, and try to get a sense of their needs and challenges in order to develop an effective strategy for their growth.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In the information age everything begins with reading and writing. If a student is willing to both of these he/she will achieve the goal of life-long learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By reminding them that we are a team that is working to achieve the same goal--their success in overcoming a challenge, mastering a subject area, or passing a test.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would look for different approaches that can be used to develop mastery of the skill or concept. Every student has a unique learning style, and sometimes it may just be a matter of finding the right techniques and approaches that help them to learn best.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I started teaching reading more than 40 years ago using what was then a novel technique called phonics. From that experience and from my experience as a musician, I am more than aware of the importance of the power of sound as a learning tool.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Opening lines of effective communication and shared interests.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By showing them ways that I might use to get engaged or excited in the subject. For instance, I have a strong preference of certain eras in history, but there are always particular aspects of the human experience that I can apply to all eras in history.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I typically ask my students to write short answers or essays that communicate their understanding of the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By allowing them the opportunity to teach me what they have learned from their lessons, they are able to display their grasp of a subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By developing a rapport and allowing them to show me their level of understanding of a particular subject.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I use different tools and techniques in an improvisational manner until I find something that works for both of us.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The computer white board, the internet, and anything else I can think of.