Alexa Thanos, at a glance.
Composing and producing tracks for indie video games
Featured members of the Monochrome Assembly (Leicester, UK)
Due to sign onto Badself Media (Burbank, CA)
Launching Space Cadet Academy in Fall 2023
Developing my own worksheets in conjunction with the Faber piano adventure series
Introducing theory, ear-training, and general musicianship to piano lessons for all ages, levels, and abilities
Integrating visual, tactile, and auditory teaching styles for pre-reading toddlers
Enabling students to explore improvisation and beginning compositional techniques as part of their piano study
Handled event speakers with humility and hospitality
Quickly learned conference maps, layouts, and surrounding areas to offer clear directions when asked
Facilitated discussions between GDC clients and the GDC Sales Suite
Courses: Musicianship I & II, Piano II & III
Generating and curating original exercises, lecture materials, and assignments to maintain a zero-cost musicianship class
Leading master class style group piano classes
Maintaining a welcoming and safe space for community college students of various ages, skill levels, abilities, and backgrounds.
Graduate Teaching Assistant - San Francisco State University
January 2022 - December 2022 | San Francisco, CA
Courses: Species Counterpoint, Diatonic Harmony, Chromatic Harmony
Marked and graded papers with in-depth commentary on students' musical approaches, habits, and comprehension
Composed and tailored exercises to individual students in tandem with their assigned materials
Quickly learned, implemented, and adapted the Orduyan piano method to individual students aged 4 to 14
Implemented ear-training and beginning music theory into each lesson
Private, semi-private, and group lessons with up to 22 students per week
Developed strong musical foundations for a diverse group of students with varying learning styles and abilities
Arranged and designed scores to increase accessibility for students with learning differences
Courses: Musicianship I-IV, Harmony I-IV, Piano I-IV, Piano Literature
Composed exercises and taught comprehension strategies to met the needs of diverse skill levels and backgrounds of the student body
Demonstrated effective collegiate-level study skills and impactful musical habits in every session
Fostered meaningful relationships with a wide array of collegiate musicians
Independent Music Instructor - San Francisco Bay Area, CA
May 2012 - Present
Subjects: Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, Voice, Music Theory
Imparting general music knowledge and ear-training skills to each student beyond the scope of their instrument
Cultivating strong relationships with both students and families
Developing original materials for various practices, including lead sheets, arrangements, and worksheets
Traveling to students' homes
Mentored students aged 3 - 65+
Graduate Assistant: Species Counterpoint, Chromatic Harmony
Collaborated with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts
Composed for members of San Francisco's Earplay Ensemble
Composed, premiered, and conducted a piece for chamber orchestra performed by SFSU students
2021 Jones Award Recipient (Piano Performance)
2020 Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award Recipient
2019 McKee Award Recipient (Piano Performance)
Fun fact: I have not always loved school.
For anyone who has known me as an adult, this would come as absolutely shocking news:
"That's like Cookie Monster not liking cookies!", one might say.
But it's true. I had a challenging relationship with school through all of my formative years: social struggles, the occasional disciplinary debacle, and an unrelenting disdain for anything "homework" related that didn't involve something I was passionate about. What none of us knew—or perhaps more accurately, what we didn't have yet the language to describe, at least for young girls—was that I am neurodivergent, and from that alone, you can probably imagine a good portion of my early education experiences.
To make matters worse, for a child in America's compulsory education ecosystem, music did not "count" as a meritable endeavor unless all of the other acceptable boxes were ticked. No amount of practice in music made up for my near-failing grades in all other studies, which seemed barbaric to ten-year-old me, and even to sixteen-year-old me! (Adult me has grown to understand the bigger picture, but still identifies music as one of the biggest failure points in American education.)
So, no, I have not always loved school, but:
I have always loved learning.
And once I found myself seated in Building 16 at the College of San Mateo at seventeen years old, inspiration and academia finally synthesized.
Yes, in the time I spent at my local college, some folks my age had already graduated from their "4+1" business programs at 'prestigious' universities. They were listing an MBA on their first slew of job applications while I was filling out my demographic information to apply to the CSU schools that minimized my commute. But:
In my five community college years, I tried so many different paths.
I tried the path of the well-mannered math major who would transfer to SJSU with an engineering lean, but by God, I just couldn't stand it! I loved my first semester of calculus, but after that, the passion faded. Dread replaced passion, resentment replaced fulfillment: it was time to move on.
So then I tried the path of the bubbly accounting major (yes, you read that right) who would go on to get their CPA license and work for a big firm—but on meeting real individuals who worked in FiDi like I had once dreamed, I couldn't have wanted anyone's lifestyle less.
For three years, I shot darts and just about missed every single one, but I was becoming a better and better student with each passing semester.
And all the while, I was sneaking in music classes: first to satisfy basic gen-ed requirements, then "just for kicks." But ultimately, I took them because they were the only classes I truly wanted to take. Every fiber of my being wanted to know more about music, music theory, music history—and then, when Professor Jane Jackson explained to me the very concept of ear-training, I remember vividly thinking "this is the superpower I have wanted all my life!" When I signed up for her Musicianship course cycle, Professor Jackson took me aside and—well, here's where it gets a little fuzzy.
I can't remember if she encouraged me to be a music major, or explained to me that I was a music major, and it was time for me to just sort out my forms at the paperwork level and solidify it. Either way, she was absolutely right. And I can't be more grateful to her, and to the amazing music faculty that I was so lucky to learn under, for illuminating the path that ultimately led me to further life-changing studies beneath Dr.s Ben Sabey and Michael Gilbertson.
So yes, I spent five years at community college, but I stand by the fact that I did not waste a single minute there.
In my mind, this is truly what college is for: finding your passions, finding your boundaries, and finding yourself. Part of me cannot believe that I'm publishing this—if I had any more sorority-leaning inclinations, the sentiment could be absolutely gag-worthy. Yet I believe every word of it, and I stand by it.
And I am beyond thrilled to give this back to the next generation of students who sat where I once did, not so long ago.