A Brief Musical Biography
My mother, musician, singer and songwriter with professional experience singing Jazz on Catalina Island and backup vocals for groups such as Station Braake and writing songs used by artists such as Keith Green, began my musical training including melodic memory in voice and basic rhythm on the guitar from a very young age. She also began giving me violin lessons when I showed interest around age 8. My grandfather, musician, sound engineer and record producer who was playing violin on stage at age four and who has professional experience recording and working with artists such as Ketty Lester and Sammy Smith via his studios in Bakersfield and as owner of Mega Records, gave me lessons in musicality, music business, and violin method and repair and maintenance. My grandmother taught me piano rudiments, and my aunt, long-time professional singer and voice coach, expanded upon my piano knowledge and vocal skills.
Outside of my family, I studied under George White in theory and violin from 1997-2001 while also performing with district honor orchestra annually, and I also studied and performed violin and French horn under Michael Stone while performing in an award winning marching band, district honor orchestra and honor band, and receiving Command Performance, the highest ranking in a musical competition for my performance with a small wind ensemble. I have performed in and soloed with, as well as leading rehearsals in directors' absences and holding the position of section leader in numerous choirs and received high marks in choral and solo competitions, studying under such notable directors as Gary Lamprecht of the Vocal Arts Ensemble. Upon graduating high school, I received multiple fine arts scholarships and began working as a professional musician including through my employment as a cantor with the Diocese of Monterey while furthering my musical studies at Cuesta College.
I received private jazz voice and piano lessons from Inga Swearingon, performed with groups led by John Knutson, and also studied music with Sister Theresa Harpin, Idonha Cabrinha, and Iva Svitek. I have taught voice and violin independently for years and was a teacher and programs coordinator at Music Motive, as well. I also have performed with and directed the annual Get on the Bus Benefit Concert, as well as pursued more musical ventures such as my performing voice and violin and writing and doing sound technician work with the SLO Newman Club, rock group Maddie and the Mendroids, jazz combo Donde Estas Thomas, grunge band The Sallies, folk artist Casey Lorraine, and more.
My performing arts experience goes beyond my musical background, as I have written and directed short theatrical presentations performed at various conferences and even played a chorus role in a UCSC production of In the Heights. More recently, I have worked as a middle school health and speech teacher, a youth musical theater director, and a youth programs coordinator, directed weekly rehearsals and monthly performances of a youth band through the Diocese of San Jose and worked as a productions manager for Western Ballet. I am a graduate of UCSC, with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, and am currently directing Musical Mondays, an after school program for first through sixth graders that puts on JR productions two times per year, working as the Performing Arts and Productions Manager at a K-8 school, and coaching a variety of age groups on how to bring creativity into every aspect of life, all while raising my beautiful daughter and son with my wonderfully supportive partner.
Private Music Teacher and Tutor Since 2008
I have been passionate about teaching since I was first asked to tutor a fellow kindergartener in counting and math skills. I love to show people how things work, breaking down work into simple steps, while guiding them to utilize such processes and critical thinking in applying acquired knowledge to new problems and concepts.
My work with youth programs since 2008 and experience in tutoring, along with my studies as a psychology major (Psychology Bachelor of Arts, UCSC), have given me valuable insight and skills essential to fostering students' acquisition and utilization of knowledge. I believe we all learn in different ways and at different rates, and I aim to vary my methods of teaching based on each individual's needs while maintaining structure and cohesion to my lesson plans.
Since a young age, I have also exhibited a passion and aptitude for music, and I enjoy sharing this love and knowledge of music with persons of all ages and skill levels, offering lessons in voice, violin, theory, guitar, ukulele, and piano, while also offering tutoring in math, writing skills, and a variety of other subjects, including psychology, and feminist theory.
Successfully working with socially, culturally, linguistically and economically diverse groups means utilizing listening skills, maintaining flexibility, and understanding students’ backgrounds and potential struggles. Throughout my time working with youth at Ceiba College Prep and various youth programs, I have been able to develop and practice these essential skills. In the classroom and beyond, I use listening skills, asking questions and listening with empathy, curiosity and without judgement. I am able to practice flexibility by giving students appropriate accommodations and even changing methods mid-lesson if I see students need a different approach. My ability to understand students’ backgrounds and struggles comes from my attentiveness in the classroom as well as my keeping in mind my personal experiences as an underserved youth.
I was raised in an economically disadvantaged home in Bakersfield, California with divorced parents and alternate court-ordered legal guardians. I practice awareness of my race-based privilege along with my childhood struggles with poverty, physical and mental health and trauma. Such experiences help me to empathize with struggling students. I can imagine what students might be going through and remain open to hearing their story if they wish to share while encouraging them to utilize available tools and providing accommodations and additional support. I also try to stay aware of how my upbringing might be different and seek new skills and ways to help students in need. One such difference is my current students’ lack of access to performing arts programs. As a youth, I found safety in arts and writing. Luckily, in many ways, ELA and the arts go hand in hand, and I hope to provide more opportunities for students to find a place to safely express themselves and build confidence through writing and performing arts.
In social and developmental psychology and feminist studies courses at UC Santa Cruz, I learned about how to better serve culturally and lingustically diverse students. One class focussed on identifying solutions to counter the westernization of public education. Another class, Rainbow Theater, explored culturally diverse plays and helped me realize the eurocentricity of most theater programs. At Ceiba, I organized a trip to Teatro Vision, an organization performing works rooted in Chicanx and Latinx experience. There I saw how theater could allow students to express themselves artistically and emotionally and culturally. Recently, I have strived to mold Ceiba’s Theater Club into a truly collaborative effort, including group discussions and decisions and even working with students to write a musical which allowed them to build socially, culturally, and economically diverse characters in a story of LGBTQ+ history and hope.
I have been able to pick up many skills over the years, as a youth programs facilitator, administrative support specialist, programs coordinator, psychology major, feminist studies student, educator and more, but know there is always more to learn. Currently, I am involved with Ceiba’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee which explores how to challenge the status quo and systems of power and privilege and how we can best serve each students’ unique needs. If offered a position at your company, I will work to incorporate my experience and knowledge in research, writing, presentation design, digital media, theater, education and beyond to create and present engaging materials and presentations, provide individualized support, and continue to foster creativity and collaboration while meeting your client or company needs.
Have you ever felt like you could be doing so much more but don't know where to start? Do you have trouble motivating yourself or making and sticking to a routine? Do you have a particular goal in mind related to work, wellness, a creative project, parenting or relationships? YOU CAN ACHIEVE THAT GOAL! Let us help you find your inner light and unleash it. Because you and the world deserves to see you shine.
Creativity is a powerful tool that can be used in every aspect of life. Whether you are solving a problem at work or developing a new perspective in a relationship, being able to see things in a new and different way helps you to better problem solve and connect with those around you. Once you have this tool honed, YOU CAN LIGHT THE WAY for yourself and those around you, and people, clients, and success, will gravitate towards you and your newfound perspective.
Coach Maddie has 12+ years experience working with clients in a variety of capacities: successfully assisting in the development of productive organizational patterns and behaviors, implementations of effective tools relating to time management, confidence-building, addiction, nutrition, and much more. Their extensive background in performing arts as a performer, teacher, script writer, and director also makes them the perfect choice for persons developing their spontaneity, pursuing a creative career, or for those wanting instrument-specific coaching. Coach Maddie also has years of experience working with youth and mentoring people through a path towards healthy relationships, freedom from addiction, and finding fulfilling work that plays to mentees strengths and passions. If you want a coach that will design tailored sessions and plans to reach your goals, using techniques centered around empowering you, balanced wellness, and developing creativity for work, play, relationships, parenting, and beyond, contact Coach Maddie for a free consultation