Michael

PianoTrumpetMusic TheoryCompositionAudio Production

About Michael


Michael began teaching back in 2017 and it has continued to be a critical part of his professional and personal life. From tutoring fellow peers on trumpet back in high school to becoming a top rated and requested teacher at the Academic Center for Learning in Chicago, Michael always appreciates the privilege to teach and very much enjoys working with students in Los Angeles.

From composing for Netflix children's television shows to working on Universal and Sony’s rated R blockbusters, Michael has worked professionally within visual media for the past six years. In 2017, Michael began his professional career in Chicago as a classical and jazz trumpeter. After sharing the stage with legends such as Bernard Purdie, Cassandra O'Neal, and Donny McCaslin, he shifted his focus to songwriting and composition. After making the leap from Chicago to Los Angeles, Michael’s career shifted from scoring short-indie films and recording bands in his Chicago basement to working on studio-backed projects and recording on iconic scoring stages. In 2021 Michael began working under the multi-award-winning composer Dara Taylor and emmy-award winning composer JP Rende, writing additional music for their various movies and TV series.

Outside of his work in visual media, Michael is an avid participant in the Los Angeles music scene as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His original music spans between instrumental compositions for the concert hall and Pop-RnB fusions. As a performer, Michael frequently gigs for independent artists around Los Angeles, and works as a session musician for film and TV. His credits as an instrumentalist include The Ghost of Molly McGee, Lego Stars Wars, and Model America. Michael is a proficient trumpet, trombone, and piano player with a background in classical, jazz, soul/funk, and RnB music. He is currently studying voice with seasoned professional vocalist Baraka May.

Q&A with Michael

Which musician would you like to play with?

Tough question! There are so many great answers to this question, however I think I'd have to go with Stevie Wonder. Not only is his musicianship as an instrumentalist incredible, he's a phenomenal songwriter and vocalist as well.

Which musician has influenced you the most?

It's hard to pinpoint exactly who had the most influence but if I had to estimate I'd say it would be composer Koji Kondo.

What can you teach me better on your instrument than any other teacher?

With eight billion people on earth, it's harder than ever to say "I'm undisputedly the best at this or that", however, I believe that I can help you realize and achieve goals you may not have convinced. Due to my experience in many musical fields doing many different parts of the job, I believe I have a wide enough range of knowledge to assist with whatever the student may want to explore.

How did you learn to play your instrument?

Like many in the United States, I started in late elementary school. I did not take music or my instrument too seriously until high school, when I enrolled in private lessons and started practicing smarter and harder. Over the years as I've picked up more instruments, all of the hours of learning and practice start to roll over and apply to each other. Learning electric bass is much different from Trumpet, technically speaking, but having a strong foundation with efficient practice and a background of music theory helps escalate the learning experience.

What equipment do you play on today?

I have a plethora of different instruments and equipment but my go-to's are my Bach Stradivarius Bb Trumpet, my Yamaha MXF08 keyboard combined with my Mackie Thump PA (or sometimes Roland amp) & Babyface Pro interface. At home I use a m1 Ultra Mac Studio that is networked to an old Mac Trashcan, with Yamaha HS7 speakers.

Which personal trait helped you the most while practicing?

Since my work is very divided between writing, producing, and playing, scheduling and patience have been very key traits in my practicing. If I only have 10 minutes a day to practice, those ten minutes need to be targeted towards a specific goal and each second counts.

What does your instrument have that others don't?

In all honesty, my instruments are probably like any other. There is nothing particularly magical about them that elicits a better sound or performance. I clean them and take care of them often and I put time into getting to know their quirks. To me, that will always be more important that a gimmick or special feature.

How do you handle children?

Very well, I've always had a soft spot for children. From a teaching standpoint, of course most children won't have the attention span or patience of an adult; however I'm happy as long as the child feels encouraged and excited before and after each lesson.

What has been your greatest experience as a musician so far?

I'd have to say flying to Europe to record an original four movement symphony with the FAMES Recording Orchestra. This experience was so fulfilling and I learned a ton from the entire process.

What was the biggest stage you played on?

While it isn't a public stage, the Newman Scoring Stage is probably the biggest and most iconic stage I've worked on. Musicians of unrivaled caliber perform and record on the stage, contributing to projects like Avatar: The Way of Water, Toy Story, Deadpool, just to name a couple.

Which record would you take with you to the desert island?

Oh man! The album variation of this question is hard enough, just one record is tricky. I'd say it would probably be "A Town with an Ocean View" by Joe Hisaishi

Besides music, what else is important in your life?

Nature is something that has been and always will be very important to me. I love all types of animals (even insects), forests, oceans, lakes, etc. Friends and family are important of course! Above all I just love "experiences', anything that gets me to try something new and break the paradigm.

Music style(s)

Classical/Contemporary OrchestralFilm & Media MusicJazzPopBluesHip-HopDance/EDMReggaetonRnb/SoulFunk

Level(s) Comfortable Teaching

Beginner to Advanced

What languages can you teach in?

English

Videos

Bands, Projects, Notable Performances, Collaborations

Strays (Will Ferrell & Jamie Fox) / Princess Power (Drew Barrymore) / Scoob: Holiday Haunt / Lego Star Wars / Pokémon Horizons / Pentatonix (Meet Me Next Christmas)

Other Music-related work / goals

Aside from my work as a composer and instrumentalist, I am also working hard towards releasing original music as an artist and vocalist. I produce artists around the LA and NYC areas, I truly love working in the different facets of music.

Accolades

I have received 6 "best score" awards for my work on Kenya's Symphony. This year I was honored to have been invited to the Recording Academy and the Television Academy as a voting member. I'll be at both the Grammy's and Emmy's this year!

Personal Interests

I am very invested in martial arts, I'm currently studying MMA in Koreatown. Hiking, exploring, and traveling are some of my favorite pass times as well!

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