I started playing when I was 8 years old after my Grammi gave me her Baldwin upright piano. A classmate's parents recommended their teacher to my parents, and my sister and I began taking lessons from Theresa Collins in Umatilla, Oregon. My first solo performance was "Fur Elise" at an assembly in 5th grade.
I continued to perform throughout middle school, and after a couple years in high school, I decided to quit lessons and teach myself how to improvise. Now I primarily perform at wineries and high-end restaurants all over Washington State, from Walla Walla to Woodinville, but primarily in the South-Eastern area.
The thing I didn't like about sheet music was that it felt so restrictive. I believed you had to play every single note perfectly just as the composer intended. In other words, there was very little freedom to express yourself as a musician when all you can do is hope you learn a song that says what you're feeling. I wanted to be able to sit down at a piano and express myself without worrying about having practiced something beforehand. In other words, I wanted freedom. So I quit lessons and began teaching myself how to make stuff up on the spot.
Today and the Future
Currently, I serve in the Oregon Army National Guard as a 19k Abrams battle tank crewman and take online classes at Eastern Oregon University in Business and Accounting with a minor in Communications.
In the future, my fiancee and I want to open a wedding barn venue in Benton City, so we are carefully planning our lives around getting to that point before 2030.