About Me

About

I have been teaching woodwinds, composition, theory, and music production since 2008. I have worked with students of all ages and all experience levels and I believe that anyone and everyone can learn to make beautiful music. In my lessons, I help students set goals for themselves and to have fun achieving them. I like to emphasize creativity and personal expression and I often help my students compose original music. I think learning music is similar to learning a language and music theory is the grammar of that language. If you know the grammar of music, you can apply it to any genre and playing style.

For woodwind students, I use a framework I call “The Three T’s”, or Tone, Time, and Technique. Tone is certainly the most important of these and I teach my students many approaches to tone building, including playing long tones with drones (for pitch reference), overtones, and breathing techniques to increase lung capacity. Time is one of the first things that is perceived in music and the development of good time is often overlooked. I have found that students struggle with knowing how to use a metronome to their benefit, and I like to focus on things like playing along with a students favorite recorded music, and even recording themselves playing along so they can hear and adjust. I have found recording to be one of the most efficient and valuable tools for progress. Technique encompasses a huge amount of subjects, from reading music to the specific challenges of each instrument. Scales and arpeggios, improvisation, and sight reading are huge parts of how I approach technique with my students. I have helped my woodwind students learn Jazz, Classical, Rock, Pop, and much more. I challenge my students to stretch themselves in their ability to read music, learn music by ear, and improvise. I have coached students through All District and All State auditions. A current saxophone student of mine even made second chair All District as a ninth grader.

I strongly believe that all music students should have some basic understanding of how to use a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW aka recording/music production software). In many ways, learning to produce in a DAW is like learning many instruments and music theory at the same time. Many of my students have experienced a lot of joy in learning to produce their own original music. Additionally, I believe that knowing how to record yourself playing your instrument is an invaluable skill for modern musicians. I use Ableton Live, Logic X, Garage Band, and CakeWalk with my students currently, and can work with students of any experience level, including students who have never played another instrument and have no music experience.

Music Qualifications & Achievements:

I have a Bachelors in Music from the University of Mary Washington.

I have had the great joy of getting to perform all over the United States and in Germany. I have played with so many musicians and have gotten to perform just about every genre imaginable. I’ve been featured on a number of professional recordings, and I have released an EP of my original music.

I have been collaborating with Next Reflex Dance company since 2013, and with them I have had the opportunity to perform at the White Wave Dance Festival in NYC as well as at the National Portrait Gallery and the Harmon Center in Washington D.C. For me, there is no greater privilege than working with dancers and creating the music that they move so beautifully and gracefully to.

Location

Richmond, VA 23223, USA

Geolocation

37.5621276,-77.3668965

Instrument(s) Taught

Clarinet, Flute, Music Production, Saxophone

Where do lessons take place?

Teacher's Location

Instrument

Guitar

Lesson Prices

60 mins

$55.00

45 mins

$45.00

30 mins

$35.00

Contact Me

Get in Touch

Reviews

Reviews

February 16, 2023

Felicity began with Nova as a new student. She has now been playing the flute for 3 years and has a tremendous passion for playing music. Nova has helped instill this passion by her patience and guidance during the years she worked with Felicity. She respects Nova as an instructor and feels she has a solid foundation due to Nova’s expertise and guidance. Additionally, Nova encouraged her desire to write music and taught her how to do this as well. I’d have no hesitation in recommending Nova as an instructor.

Teri H.
Verified
February 16, 2023

Nova is an awesome teacher. I was happy to have her as my 12 y/o daughters clarinet instructor for over 2 years, and always felt very comfortable entrusting her to Nova’s mentorship. She is clearly a master (no pun intended) at her craft, and has encouraged my daughter to come watch her perform live with her band. She has a broad taste in music and did a good job of keeping the clarinet interesting for my daughter with her typical 12 year old taste in music. She was creative and resourceful in creating opportunities for my daughter to play with other kids. I felt she was also very forthright in providing her assessment of how far my daughter’s talent could take her, and I honestly believe Nova would have let us know if we were wasting her time and our money. I would certainly recommend Nova to anyone.

John M.
Verified
February 16, 2023

Nova was my son’s saxophone instructor for over a year. She did a magnificent job, not only teaching him how to play the instrument, but instilling a love of music. Our inclusion into the local music scene through Nova gave my son a clear, long term picture of what he can do with his music after high school/college. My boy is a better musician for having taken lessons from Nova.

Danielle D.
Verified

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First Name

Nova Ren

Last Name

Masters

Username

nova-ren-masters