Teaching

Chris is an active educator, working with students of all ages and levels for the past 17 years. He currently teaches vibraphone performance at The New School University in New York City, and serves as co-director of Inner Arts Initiative, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to expanding the role of music and art in society, helping people connect with themselves and their world through sound.

“My students loved his workshop and concert and continued talking about them for days after his visit.”

– Michael Di Liddo, Professor of Jazz Studies, Miami-Dade College

Chris’s experience includes presenting master classes, clinics, and lectures at schools both nationally and internationally, including Trinity College, Miami-Dade College (pictured in photo above), Vancouver Jazz Festival, the National Conservatory of Vietnam, Staffeldsgate College in Oslo, Norway, and more. He has directed a summer music camp for students ages 11-18, and taught high school and middle school jazz ensembles through the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

Chris’s teaching philosophy centers around fostering musicality by consistently bringing students back to the joy of playing and creating music. Students learn new techniques, use their minds in new ways, and then immediately apply that knowledge to the art of expressing themselves and making music. 

Topics for Exploration

  • Ensemble cohesion and musicality
  • Pacing and motivic development
  • Harmony and various approaches for improvising over chord changes
  • Group interaction and improvisation
  • Composition and arranging strategies
  • Time and feel
  • Polyrhythms, hemiolas, and their applications in improvisation and composition
  • Student-generated topics of interest

Whether it’s a masterclass, clinic, ensemble, or camp, Chris’s students agree that his lessons and classes are both educational and inspiring.

“Chris instilled in me a life-long appreciation of music. The thoughtful and respectful way that Chris teaches is inspiring, which leads students to seek independent learning outside of the classroom. Because lessons aren’t rote dictation, but a logical expansion of the musical skill one already has, learning is comfortable and fun!”

– Matt, private student