It’s tough being a kid! Most people don’t want to admit that, but there are many unique challenges associated with growing up in today’s era of schooling. Even as a fresh college graduate, I still reflect upon the good and bad days I had between elementary school and high school. From this angle, I can see how much music had an effect on my overall experience.
Music is truly a gift to engage with, and its presence throughout my life could not go unnoticed. On bus rides to school, in band class, during recess, or on my walk from the bus stop to home, music was always there for me regardless of how my day went, rain or shine.
Akin to the traits required of a proficient performer of music, it takes a significant amount of discipline, patience, and humility to be an effective music educator. Each student is different, with variation that exists in part from their upbringing as much as their interest in the subject matter. An effective teacher must understand this relationship and embrace these differences to guide their pupil down the path of excellence.
I think it’s important to acknowledge that it’s okay to not sound “good” playing music. It’s okay to have troubles and challenges. It’s okay to realize that there are things to work on,yet understand that there is always enough time to do so even when it doesn’t seem like it.
“Success” is a process that isn’t achieved in a day, a week, a month, or even a few years. But it can begin right now, in this split second. It starts with a teacher guiding a student to find one small, seemingly microscopic aspect in the music that makes them exclaim, “hey, that was fun! What was that?”
Gabriel studied with Shannon LeClaire, George Garzone, Dino Govoni, Jim Odgren and Harry Skoler at the Berklee College of Music between 2014 to 2019 for his undergraduate performance studies on Saxophone, Flute and Clarinet. Additionally, he studied the aspects of musical performance with such master musicians as Ralph Peterson Jr., Dave Santoro, Tiger Okoshi and Bruno Rahberg.
Gabriel has mentored elementary to middle school saxophone students at the Brookhaven Summer Music program, and high school students at the Berklee City Music program and Brighton Music Maker studios.
Gabriel’s performance credits extend from such venues as Sculler’s Jazz Club in Boston, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in NYC, the DC Jazz Festival at the Wharf Stage in Washington DC to the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville.