Teacher Profile: William Smith

William Smith

William Smith

Instrument(s): Bass Guitar, Composition, Guitar, Music Theory, Piano, Ukulele, Voice

City: Washington, DC

Education: Hofstra University

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    About William Smith

    Brad Smith is a composer and music instructor who has been teaching since 2006. He graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in Music Theory, and his primary instrument was Classical Guitar. He studied under Bill Zito, and Larry Snitzler - protégé and friend of the legendary Andrés Segovia. Brad was the recipient of the Dorothy B. Hoag scholarship for Voice at Hofstra University as well as the Director's Award for Chorus at H-B Woodlawn. He has performed at Carnegie Hall with the Hofstra Chamber Singers, the Kennedy Center with the HB Woodlawn Chamber Singers, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall demonstrating Malagasy music on a variety on instruments.

    Growing up in a musical household, Brad's mother was a piano instructor, and he started his journey at a young age. He began his formal piano study and first instrument at the age of 7 under Linda Strickland. Some of his earliest memories are of his mother playing piano in the morning. This lifetime love with music continued through college focusing on piano and orchestral composition under Kenneth Lampl and Herbert Deutsch. Though Brad's primary instrument of study in college was Guitar, he also has notable accolades for his achievements as a vocalist and tenor. As a composer, piano has been an important tool that he continues to utilize in his work.

    Through this comprehensive immersion in different instrumental areas, he was able to unite his talents in the area of composition and apply his love of Music Theory in a more substantial way. Brad has composed works for the Tisch School of the Arts, VCU Department of Music, and the Hofstra University Department of Radio, Television, and Film.

    As a professional music instructor for over 15 years, Brad enjoys working with students of all ages to develop their understanding and proficiency in music. No matter the instrument, his goal is to always start with establishing joy and a love of music from the very start, and build from there. He notes to his students that a well-rounded music study is like "dessert with vegetables" -- it's important to have a balance of the fun and indulgent along with concepts that lead to growth. Through his approach, he finds what excites his students and uses that enthusiasm to meet challenges with success. In the realm of Piano Instruction, Brad enjoys using the Faber method. For guitar, his lesson plan includes a combination of chords, scales, and theory, along with fun songs of all genres. In the area of voice, he finds inspiring repertoire for all his students that they enjoy along with progressive technique exercises that lead to continued growth in diction, tone, and range.

    In addition to music, Brad is a curator and museum specialist. He is a 3 time recipient of the Fulbright-Hays Grant and author of six publications on topics spanning from the musical instruments of Thailand to Central Asian ethnology. Brad currently serves as CEO and founder for the Non-Profit Merrion & Smith working on the preservation and conservation of ancient manuscripts in Central Asia. He feels very fortunate to be able to blend his love of music and teaching with historical preservation. In many ways, these two passions are related and enable Brad to make his life's work a mission to serve the arts.

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