Elan was raised in a family of musicians near Portland, OR, where he lived on 36 acres with bees, goats, and llamas. He began studying the cello at the age of 4, receiving classical training until age 19. In middle school and high school, he studied with Hamilton Cheifetz, a protege of Janos Starker and the director of music at Portland State University. Elan played in a myriad of youth symphonies, chamber music groups, and music festivals. At age 14, he taught himself how to play the guitar and he has been playing, singing, and songwriting ever since. During college, Elan also learned some classical piano.
After starting as a pre-med/music major at the University of Washington, he ended up pivoting to study clinical psychology, as his purpose is to work with adolescents struggling with mental health issues. Through his own adversity in high school, he found solace, healing, and community through music. Since college, Elan has remained active on the cello, performing at weddings, recording on studio albums, improvising with various musicians, and so on. Now pursuing graduate school in clinical social work, it is his dream to start a program for adolescents that is focused on music and nature therapy.
He strongly believes in the power of music for healing and self-expression. He believes in a relationship-focused approach to teaching, building a solid foundation of rapport in order to maximize the learning process. Elan strives to connect his students with their passion for music, fostering self-discipline, confidence, and deeper self-expression along the way. He incorporates different kinds of music into his teaching and encourages his students to explore their favorite kinds of music in addition to classical repertoire.
Outside of music, Elan is an avid hiker, cyclist, backpacker, and skier. He is also an accomplished cook who loves to garden and forage for plants and fungi.