Teaching Philosophy

As in performing, I view teaching as one more way to share the joy of music with others. With so many things that compete for our time and attention, music is definitely a global language that a person can enjoy throughout their life. My studio objective is to assist each student in honing their musical skills and finding their "voice" which will also enhance their life skills. I have seen many of my students start private lessons as introverted adolescents and grow to be very proud, confidant performers. I have also seen how gaining confidence in learning and performing music has assisted several of my ADHD students with improved focus and applying that focus to other endeavors.

My coaching style is adapted to the particular needs of each student. I ensure my studio is a welcoming space where students are comfortable enough to make themselves at home, ask questions and feel supported during the learning process. I enjoy getting to know each student on a personal level so I get a sense of who they are outside of my studio. For example, I feel that comparing the musical concepts we are working on to how my student plays a particular position in his/her sport is more engaging and personal to them and shows them I am interested in them beyond the studio door. I strongly encourage my more advanced students to research and learn about the repertoire they are studying and I provide them with the resources to locate information that may be of interest to them and their audience. I believe students of intermediate and advanced level should be actively engaged in the decision process of what repertoire to study, therefor when assigning music to students in that skill category I assign them two to three solos and they are instructed to research those solos and listen to several recordings of each before making a final decision of which solo repertoire they will be spending the next several months learning. This allows them to take more responsibility and have more control within the repertoire selection process. I strongly encourage performing in any capacity as this assists students in conquering shyness and developing the confidence to both play their instrument and speak in public. Performing in public also strengthens skills which will be an asset in any future career. If a student is adamant about not performing, we focus on their personal enjoyment of music and pursuing their personal best as a musician. As an alternative to solo performing, I encourage and arrange for them to perform in duets, trios and quartets so the student feels safe. I continually stress to students that to play a musical instrument well is not instantaneous. They learn quickly that becoming a better musician and improving their playing overall requires perseverance to practice. Learning this perseverance has actually assisted several of my students with improving in other school subjects as well.

My overall goal as an educator is to guide the student through the learning process so they are cognizant of their improvement as it happens and will be inspired to carry on, no matter the age or level.