Teacher Profile: Erik Helmersen

Erik Helmersen

Erik Helmersen

Instrument(s): Brass, Guitar, Harmonica, Music Production, Piano, Trombone, Voice

City: Seattle

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    About Erik Helmersen

    Erik Helmersen is a lifelong resident and musician and performer of the pacific northwest born and raised in the greater Seattle area. Primarily a teacher of trombone, Piano, Guitar and Vocals. Erik started playing piano and singing at a very young age. He was never asked if music was something he was interested in, he just started playing and picked up on it naturally, and grew attached to the sounds and vibrations he could make, by simply learning on his own.

    He took piano lessons from a family friend and at that point he started memorizing and performing music charts in front of family at the age of 8. He started playing the piano when he was 5. When he was 8 he started exploring and learning everything about the guitar and learning chords, plucking the strings and eventually writing songs. From what he had learned from the piano he started learning the fundamentals of music theory at a very young age, including the major and minor scales, and how they relative to each other. He played whenever he had the opportunity when he would visit his grandparents and his extended family whom which all could play music and sing in some capacity. It was when his uncle performed at a Christmas concert on the violin that Erik became committed to learning and playing more, and the urge to perform, all on his own. When he was 11 he started playing the trombone in concert band, renting it from the music store for the first year of 6th grade. By 7th grade he had become a huge part of the music program, when his mom bought him his first Getzen Trombone which he still has today. Erik was soon asked to join the high school jazz band a year before he had officially reached high school

    Throughout his high school years he took music to whole other level, where he auditioned for the concert and symphonic bands, and as well the theatrical production of fiddler on the roof, playing in the orchestra, the original score at that, for a 4 month intensive rehearsal schedule, for a 2 weekend run of the production. He took piano and guitar in high school as well and played in many studios with the bands he was in, recording albums, and learning the fundamentals of sound engineering and recording. His junior year he performed in "Hello Dolly" orchestra. As a member of 4 bands he was able to travel to music festivals and competitions and traveled all over the state, while taking his normal academic classes, and becoming a very good student excelling in most everything he put his mind to. He even played for the navy with the high school jazz band, even getting the opportunity to record a navy promotional video on an aircraft carrier.

    Erik would go on to graduate high school and play music full time, while working a full time job. A few years later he enrolled in the shoreline community college music program where he sang and performed in the jazz band. He took music theory, piano and vocal classes, and also took private trombone lessons. He eventually auditioned for "Brigadoon" a Scottish play in which he transitioned to the cast where he got to sing and dance. He recorded in a few studios with the jazz band playing the trombone, and also competed in jazz competitions, singing as well.

    Erik has always had a passion for music, since he was very young. Some of his favorite bands are Chicago, The Beatles, Styx, Boston, Dave Matthews Band, Duke Ellington, Maynard Ferguson Band and a huge catalog of others. He uses music as therapy for himself and loves influencing others. He takes performing seriously, but has a lot of fun playing and is also a student as well as a teacher. He believes and uses knowledge from his own experience to mentor and teach, and the fundamental foundation for "practical learning. He believes that to do anything successfully, you have to first of all love it, and secondly want to do it for yourself.

    He approaches teaching with the capacity that everyone learns differently, then develops a lesson plan for each individual, with the concept of team work, and a "Never Give Up" mentality. He is good with adapting, and has a vast knowledge of a very large catalog of music from many music genres, especially jazz and concert performance, as well as theater and music production, music theory and vocal training and performance. He loves music and has been playing since he was little, in fact one of his first words was music.

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