My music training began with classical piano at age 8, and then flute at 13. I grew up hearing Russian spoken at home and an eclectic mix of music my parents listened to. This led me to pursue both a B.A. in Russian language and my B.M. in Flute Performance from the University of Iowa. While in the graduate flute performance program at University of Washington, I fell in love with ethnomusicology, Cuban music and dance, and subsequently traditional Mexican and Latin American music, which prompted me to leave Seattle for the Bay Area. The journey into Cuban music and dance has been one of the most influential of my life, and opened doors into new worlds, including improvisation. In Cuba, I studied under Maestros Richard Egües (Orquesta Aragon), and Orlando Canto (Los Van Van), as well as folkloric Cuban dance with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and Afrocuba of Matanzas. In the Bay Area, I studied popular and folkloric Cuban music and dance for four years with Maestro Roberto Borrell, and was a regular flute substitute in his Orquesta la Moderna Tradición which played traditional Cuban dance music from the 1860’s-1950’s. Most importantly, in Cuba I learned to celebrate the elemental components of music – the voice, rhythm, and dance.
I’ve also been fortunate to have been part of an ensemble (Cascada de Flores) for 13 years that played, toured and recorded traditional music from Mexico, Cuba, and Latin America, as well as developed assembly performances and workshops for children K-12. Throughout it all, I’ve been teaching private flute and piano students, Kindermuisk, and general music for ages 1- 13.
Most recently, my passion has shifted to taking my life experiences and putting this experience into my teaching. This now feels like the most important work of my life. To this end, I have discovered the Orff Schulwerk approach to teaching music, as well as the pedagogical systems of Zoltán Kodály and Émile Jaques-Dalcroze. I currently have completed Levels 1 and 2 in Orff Schulwerk from the San Francisco Orff Course, and plan on continuing my education in all these systems. All three frameworks incorporate movement, singing, listening, music making on real instruments, and improvisation/composition, using the music of the world as our textbook.
Lastly, I am now completing my studies at DePaul University to receive my certification to teach music in the state of Illinois. I look forward to meeting you at the amazing Old Town School of Folk Music!
Started at the Old Town School in February of 2018