My journey in music started around age 9 after I inherited an electric organ from my grandmother. After a few months of lessons I switched to piano. I played the clarinet in a variety of bands from middle school to college and started writing music in high school. I earned my bachelor of music degree in music composition from The University of Iowa in 2003 while also studying piano and organ.
In 2003 I moved to Oakland, California to study composition specifically with Pauline Oliveros at Mills College. After earning my masters I began teaching and playing the piano professionally in a variety of settings around the Bay Area. In 2009 I started a singer/songwriter project called Art Elliot which continues to the present. My song Earth Abides won the Best Song by Oakland Solo Artist award in the 2011 Oaktown Music Festival competition. In addition to my original music I’ve collaborated with many other bands and musicians including Jack O’ the Clock, The Eli Wise Band, and Larry Gallagher.
I love having the opportunity to share my love and knowledge of music with children and adults alike. My various experiences have taught me that music is more than one style, one way of playing, or one way of sense-making. Music can be a form for expression just as much as it can be a form of experimentation. What is music to you?