It starts in Fine Arts, in 1st grade. With an amazing music program for a public school. I was a master of 3-part harmony by 5th grade, and taught it to fellow students for a graduation anthem I wrote. I had band and choir and accompanying all thru middle and high school, in addition to piano lessons the whole time. I competed heavily and got into Lawrence University (Conservatory of Music) for their Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance program. I later stepped down to the BA in music, to graduate in 4 years (also with a BA in Theatre, and a minor in English). My senior thesis was a semi-autobiographical musical called "The Believers: a musical tale of disillusionment". This led to grad school at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for their MFA program in Musical Theatre Writing. During which time I wrote Benjamin Starling with Danny Pitt Stoller, and studied under William Finn, Sarah Schlessenger, Mel Marvin, and Michael John LaChiusa. I also became a regular musical director for shows in NYC and Chicago. It took a lot of climbing up ladders I didn't really want to be on, to re-realize my true calling as a singer/songwriter. I've been informally studying for this my whole life, but performing regularly around Chicago only since 2006.