Instruments Taught: Voice (beginning through advanced), Clarinet (beginning through advanced), Piano (beginning & intermediate)
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Years playing: 15+
Teaching Since: 2000
Musical Influences: Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Nina Simone, Charlie Parker, Anita O’Day, Kurt Elling, Take 6, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Michael Jackson, James Brown, BB King, Annie Lennox, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Hiatus Kaiyote, Ben Ivor, Roy Hargrove, Amy Winehouse, Betty Carter, Allen Stone, Bibio, Bee Gees, Bob Marley, Chaka Khan, D’Angelo, Dirty Loops, Erykah Badu, Tye Tribbett, Jamiroquai, Jill Scott, Joe Cocker, Kendrick Lamar, Maxwell, Ozomatli, Rahsaan Patterson, Sade, Sly and the Family Stone, Earth wind Fire, Nirvana, Metallica, Stone Temple Pilots, Jill Scott, Michael McDonald
Education: Master of Music (Northern Illinois University) & Bachelor of Music (San Francisco State)
Musical Projects: Audio Radience, FunkLogic, Mugpush Collective, Jazz Mafia/Brazz Mafia, Crytal Monee Hall, MamaSoup, One Nation, Sal’s Greenhouse, MoeTar, Willerm Delesfort Project, Shirazet Tinnin, Dame Drummer.
Key teaching concepts: Method over outcome, focusing on the journey and not merely the destination. Providing comprehensive knowledge of music through performance, creation of music. Encouraging lifelong learning through artistically rich musical experiences.
Book/Methods Used: Alfred’s Adult Series (for teens-adults). Piano Discoveries & Theory Discoveries (by Janet Vogt & Leon Bates). Hannon, Finger Power. Jamey Abersold books (Jazz piano/voice). Hal Lenard Pop Vocal Book. Standard of Excellence and Band Essentials (clarinet).
Teaching Days: Tuesday
Although we like to think that music is something children are naturally attracted to and motivated to explore, sometimes the inspiration to play an instrument comes elsewhere. Mikki playfully recalls why she first picked up a clarinet. In 3rd grade, the band students got to “skip” class for music. And wouldn’t you know it, sometimes, just sometimes, on a really lucky day, that skipped class would be math! And there you have it: Mikki was sold on music.
Despite any silly reasons for first starting on clarinet, Mikki had been raised in a musical setting from an early age. Prior to 3rd grade band, she sang in youth & children’s gospel choir, which she continued participating in through later years, eventually (as a teenager) becoming the group’s director.
In pursuit of higher education, Mikki studied Music at a variety of institutions around the country, earning her Masters of Music Degree, in addition to a Bachelor’s of Music, and various awards such as “Outstanding Jazz Vocalist”. Her past mentors include: Ronald Carter, Robert Sims, Robert Chappel (Northern Illinois University), Branford Marsalis, Greg Murai, Hafez Modizadeh (San Francisco State University), and Phil Matson (School for Music Vocations in Iowa).
As an educator, Mikki’s experience includes not only working privately with students for over 15 years, but also directing church choirs as well as children’s musical theater groups. She was also a music instructor at a school for students with learning disabilities.