Joe began studying music at age seven, switching to private piano lessons with Jean Shell at nine. Shell, a pupil of Darius Milhaud at Mills College, focused her pedagogy on musical and emotional sensitivity, intelligence, and attention to detail tempered with a strong grounding in technique, theory and musicianship.
After high school, Joe attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he studied composition with Joel Feigin and Jeremy Haladyna, and piano with Natasha Kislenko. A student of Nadia Boulanger and Rosina Lhevinne, Feigin’s teaching emphasized the traditions and connections running through Western music. Kislenko shared her infectious passion for music while her incredible pianism served as an example and goal. In addition to composition and piano, studies included counterpoint, orchestration, music theory, music history, electronic music, and performances in the Gamelan, North Indian, and Middle East ensembles.
Joe graduated from UCSB with honors in 2009, and moved down to San Diego shortly thereafter where he has been living ever since. In addition to composing and working as a musician, he began teaching piano in 2012. Emphasizing a patient, flexible yet thorough approach, Joe strives to use his experience and knowledge to help students make the music they’re interested in. Teaching has been an incredibly rewarding opportunity for him to encourage younger and older people alike to develop and express their potential by sharing his knowledge and love of music.
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