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When tutoring students, my ultimate goal is to help instill awareness of the larger picture which underlies any subject matter we cover. Through this technique, they will learn to understand how details fit together in context and how to other subjects, as interdisciplinary awareness comprises part of my teaching philosophy

On a more goal-directed level, this approach applies to test taking because questions on tests do not gauge your interest or passion in the material, but rather they measure whether your pure knowledge of a subject measures up to the standards set by the test maker. If I can help students understand the purpose of the question being asked or the reason behind learning something in a class, it will stick with them and lead to better performance in the future as well.

I completed my undergraduate Bachelor's Degree at Columbia University in 2014 with a Major in American Studies and a Concentration in Music. My classes ranged from english courses about beat generation writers to courses on the history of intellectual philosophy in the United States. I studied western and non-western musical traditions and also developed my performance and compositional techniques in pursuit of my degree in Music.

I work as a musician, composer and producer in several music projects and perform regularly in New York City in jazz, rock and hip hop groups. Additionally, I work in post production sound and music for film when not tutoring.

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Spencer’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Columbia University in the City of New York - Bachelors, American Studies + Concentration in Music

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 34

ACT English: 33

ACT Math: 33

ACT Reading: 34

ACT Science: 35

SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1510

SAT Verbal: 790

SAT Writing: 730

SAT Subject Test in U.S. History: 700

SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M: 760

SAT Subject Test in Literature: 730


music artist, composer, producer

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

1st Grade

1st Grade Math

1st Grade Reading

1st Grade Writing

2nd Grade

2nd Grade Math

2nd Grade Reading

2nd Grade Writing

3rd Grade

3rd Grade Math

3rd Grade Reading

3rd Grade Science

3rd Grade Writing

4th Grade

4th Grade Math

4th Grade Reading

4th Grade Science

4th Grade Writing

5th Grade

5th Grade Math

5th Grade Reading

5th Grade Science

5th Grade Writing

6th Grade

6th Grade Math

6th Grade Reading

6th Grade Science

6th Grade Writing

7th Grade

7th Grade Math

7th Grade Reading

7th Grade Science

7th Grade Writing

8th Grade

8th Grade Reading

8th Grade Science

8th Grade Writing

9th Grade

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

ACT Prep

ACT English

ACT Math

ACT Reading

ACT Science

ACT Writing

Adult Literacy


American Literature


AP Biology

AP Environmental Science

AP Music Theory


College English

College Essays

College Level American History

College Level American Literature

Comparative Literature

COMPASS Reading Prep

Elementary School

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Science

Elementary School Writing


English Grammar and Syntax





Essay Editing

High School

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

High School English

High School Level American History

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing


Homework Support



ISEE- Lower Level

ISEE- Middle Level



Middle School

Middle School Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Science

Middle School Writing

Music Theory



PSAT Critical Reading

PSAT Writing Skills


SAT Reading

SAT Verbal

SAT Writing and Language




Social Studies


SSAT- Elementary Level

SSAT- Middle Level

Study Skills and Organization


Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I aim to teach students by linking their passions to the subject matter in dynamic and engaging ways. My goal is to help students reach deeper understandings by guiding them to new ways of perceiving the subject matter. That way, they can make broad connections that underlie the details of the subject matter.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I believe independent learning is most effectively learned and driven by true engagement with the material.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

The first step in my tutoring relationship with clients would be to make sure the student learns to not be frustrated in the event of any road bumps.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

The key to keeping up a student's motivation is to relate the subject we are working on to something they care and are passionate about. This will help them to find enjoyment in the work, which will lead to more motivated efforts.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

In order to help a student struggling with reading comprehension, we will have to discover the root cause of the issues first. A student might be able to perfectly grasp the language being used, but struggle to place that information in the context of the greater text. Other students might simply need help with vocabulary. The techniques I would use to help students with reading comprehension would depend on their age and core reading issues, so my strategies would be cultivated individually to match the needs of the student.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

The techniques would differ depending on the subject material. Of course, one key technique is to quiz the student on the material using practice questions after we have worked on the material. This is more effective for some subjects than for others. Another technique I might use, depending on what I am tutoring in, is to discuss concepts of a theory or skill outside of the course context. If the student can learn to understand a subject outside of the realm it is initially presented to them in, they will most certainly understand the concept in the academic context where the work takes place.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

It would vary depending on the subject, but the materials I use are varied and comprised of different forms of media.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

When I first meet students, my goal is to get to know them and create a comfortable learning environment where we can efficiently assess both the specific and broad areas of any given subject that needs work.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I strive to make connections between the subject matter and activities which my students are personally interested in or passionate about, so as to help engage their interest by showing the subject's relevance to their personal lives.

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