About Mickey

Mickey Helms has been involved in music his whole life. He started playing guitar at the age of four, discovering an old guitar left behind by his older brother. Mickey didn't know what he was doing, just beating up the guitar, then trying to get a note, then two, and so on. In fact, Mickey still has that 40+ year old guitar, and even uses it with his guitar students!

In fourth grade, Mickey began his formal music education. That year, he started playing Clarinet in the school band, and took private music lesssons. He would continue with the private lessons for five years under the instruction of Mr. Bill Conrad. As a freshman at Homestead High School in Cupertino, California, Mickey switched from Clarinet to Baritone horn.

In eighth grade, Mickey joined the Spirit of Sunnyvale Marching Youth Band, from Sunnyvale, California. He would go on to march Clarinet in "Spirit" from 1986 through 1988, and Baritone from 1989 through 1992.

After graduating high school in 1990, Mickey attended De Anza College in Cupertino, California. Mickey played Baritone, Trumpet and Clarinet in the De Anza College Wind Ensemble and various brass ensembles. Also at De Anza, Mickey studied classical guitar under the instruction of Anita Sheer.

After graduating De Anza College in 1992 with an Associates (AA) degree in Music, Mickey then attended San Jose State University in San Jose, California, majoring in Music Composition. While at SJSU, Mickey performed in the SJSU Symphonic Band, the University Chorus, and the Gamelan (Javanese percussion ensemble). He studied Baritone horn under the instruction of Robert Szabo. Mickey studied composition under Pablo E. Furman, Brian Belet, Allen Strange, Dan Wyman, and Richard Aldag. At SJSU, Mickey received a Bachelors of Music (BM) degree in 1997 in Music Composition, and a Masters (MA) degree in 2002 in Music.

Currently in his fifth year of private music instruction, Mickey has taught over twenty students in such areas as rock guitar, Clarinet, classical guitar, Trumpet, and music theory and composition. What Mickey enjoys most in teaching is to take a complete beginner on their instrument and to help them achieve their goal of becoming a musician who is confident in their playing ability, and can take those musical skills to a band or music ensemble.

AA (1992), Music, De Anza College
BM (1997), Music Composition, San Jose State Univsersity
MA (2002), Music, San Jose State University

Member - MENC (The National Association for Music Education)

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