Photo by Alex Vittal
My main goal as a teacher is to guide my students to become musicians and not merely instrumentalists. I believe an understanding of how the body works, music theory and history, practicing, and improvisation are important when learning to play an instrument. To help my student understand how the body works I incorporate basic body mapping, Alexander Technique, and sometimes yoga! During my graduate work I studied Comprehensive Musicianship: a method of teaching that incorporates music theory and music history into everyday music lessons. I use this method with my private students. Learning how to practice productively is also a critical aspect of learning to play an instrument. One of my teachers John Kendall, the first American to study with Shinichi Suzuki in Japan, teaches through practicing. During my undergraduate work I did an intensive one month course with Dr. Kendall where he explained many of his practice ideas and tips to me. I now incorporate these ideas into my teaching as well. I recently realized that improvisation helps musicians have a certain level of comfort with their instrument, as well as with their performance. I incorporate improvisation into my teaching through easy, creative, and approachable exercises and games. While my teaching has creative elements, it is rooted in a solid framework that helps my students progress on a basic technical level.
While all of the ideas described above are important to my teaching philosophy, the most important part of teaching is tailoring lessons to each individual student. I teach lessons to people of all ages and levels of musicianship and each lesson is different depending on whom I am teaching.
For more information on rates, lesson locations, or other question please feel free to contact me!