Interactive Music and Visuals using Twitch / Purr Data / MaxMSP, DIY Musical Instruments
Towson University - B.M. Music Performance
Nic Collins, Crank Sturgeon, Alva Noto, Oval
Contact Mics, Guitar, Upright Bass, Ukulele, Matrix Mixers, No Input Mixers
Finding the intersections between art and technology, DIY Music instruments
Solo guitar for weddings, Guitar Ensembles, Rock Bands, Solo Improvised Electronics
Beginner to Advanced Guitar, Beginner to Advanced Ukulele, Beginner to Intermediate Bass, Beginner Piano
5 years teaching guitar, 5 years teaching bass guitar, 4 years teaching ukulele, 1 year teaching piano
Music Teacher, Professional
Alex first picked up a guitar in eighth grade when his group of friends began learning instruments. Unsure of what to choose, his love of rock led him to the guitar. Alongside his father – who assembled an extensive guitar collection during Alex’s youth – his love of the instrument never faltered. Adding bass guitar and ukulele to his repertoire soon after, he found them natural complements to the guitar and has enjoyed playing them ever since. During his time at Towson, he performed in a variety of ensembles including guitar ensembles, duos with singers, and early music ensembles. In 2015, he won the Foundation Scholarship, a university-wide competition across the individual instrument groups. He performed two solo recitals in his junior and senior years. His senior recital featured prepared guitar pieces from Peter Yates' "String Drum Codex" as well as original electronic compositions featuring micro-sounds from the guitar.
While guitar is Alex's primary instrument, his first musical experience was with the piano. His grandfather was an avid musician and shared his love of music with Alex early on. Alex studied the piano throughout college as a companion to his music theory classes. He took four semesters of applied music theory at Howard Community College and two semesters of group piano courses at Towson University. Alex is a composer of electronic music, blending elements from minimalism, ambient music, and noise. In 2015, he released "Tinitic," an EP of curated improvisations in Max/MSP, and in 2020, remixed "Six or Seven Scientists Stumble Upon a Spaceship" by MEMZ in their "Remixes for Exploring" project. Recently, he has also been exploring DIY musical electronics inspired by the works of Crank Sturgeon and Nicolas Collins.
Alex uses a variety of methods depending on the skills of the student. For beginner guitar students, he uses the Hal Leonard Method because of its quicker pace and selection of songs. For younger guitar beginners, he uses the Alfred Kid's Guitar Course. For more advanced guitar students, he uses the William Leavitt Method. He also pulls reading material from a variety of sources including the Hal Leonard Easy Melody series and Beatles Easy Guitar collection. For ukulele, he uses the Jake Shimabukuro method as well as the Hal Leonard "Easy Songs for Ukulele" and "Beatles for Fingerstyle Ukulele" collections. For bass guitar, he uses the Hal Leonard method. With all of this in mind, he will also adapt his material to whatever a student is currently using.
As a teacher, Alex is driven by his past learning experiences, both good and bad. His goal is to foster a lifetime of learning regardless of whether the student wants to pursue music as a career or hobby. For the virtuoso, he strives to give them the tools needed to reach the next step in their development. For the dilettante, he aims to push their musical boundaries beyond their expectations.
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