As a musician and an educator, I’ve come to realize that without desire or passion, there can be can no success. It was passion for learning and performing that drew me into music and it was through the dedication and guidance of wonderful instructors that I learned how to combine my passion with self-discipline; developed a deeper appreciation for history, performance and theory outside of my realm of expertise; and truly learned the value of leading by example. With my own education and experience in mind, I bring three primary objectives to my philosophy of teaching: engaging my students, providing a strong technical and musical foundation, and guiding my students to become self-reliant.
With the understanding that everyone comes from different backgrounds and has developed different learning styles, I enjoy the initial challenge of assessing each student’s strengths and weaknesses and then tailoring my teaching approach to ensure that every student is able to connect with the subject matter. Whether the student is a beginner or well on his or her way to a professional career, it is essential to discover what drives and captivates that individual student. My ultimate goal is to inspire a love for music in each student while also teaching one of the life’s most valuable skills: listening.
Providing each student with a strong technical and musical foundation is essential, regardless of the student’s future career plans. A solid understanding of the intricacies of rhythm, phrasing and timing not only allows students to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of music, but also creates in them the capacity to execute new and more difficult techniques and explore musical ideas with confidence. Most importantly, I want my students to have strong fundamental skills that will give them the capability to continue to learn after their lessons have ended.
Finally, I strive to promote self-reliance in each of my students. In music, self-reliance can mean many things: the ability to self-analyze and critique; the responsibility to explore the literature and repertoire and decide what one likes or does not like: or simply taking responsibility for advancing one’s own skills and career through networking and exploring professional opportunities. In order to be open to the possibility of success, students must also be open to the possibility of failure. While this is indeed one of the greatest challenges of music, and also of life, the ability to accept and learn from failure and take personal responsibility of advancing one’s career are lessons that will reverberate far beyond the walls of the classroom.