My primary goal as a teacher is to make the study of music fun, engaging, challenging, and rewarding. I encourage a positive, nurturing learning experience with students of all ages and skill levels, and enjoy teaching a variety of musical genres, such as classical and pop/rock.
Establishing long-term, ultimate goals is an important part of learning music, but I also believe that the journey to achieving these successes is equally as important. Therefore, I pay a great deal of attention to detail in lesson planning for each student, to ensure that they take the appropriate steps to meeting their individual needs and wants in music. I do my best to help each student discover personal rewards in the process of meeting their individual musical goals.
Music Education is a Two-Way Street
Being a life-long student myself, I understand the importance of developing a solid teacher-student relationship based on trust, and mutual respect and effort. I will provide knowledge and creativity as a teacher, with hopes that students (or, as often in the case of younger students, parents) will take initiative in their own musical education. I accept that students may have varying levels of commitment to their music education, but I expect all students to try and set realistic goals based on their willingness to commit to achieving them. I take my responsibilities as a teacher very seriously and, in return, wish for students to take responsibility in their own learning experiences.
As a teacher, I strive to help students create a basic toolbox full of skills (i.e. proper technique, note-naming, improvisation, technical exercises, and rhythm counting) that are crucial to studying the piano. Perhaps the most important skill in this toolbox is the ability to efficiently practice. Out of approximately 6,720 waking minutes in the week, only 30-60 are spent in the lesson. Therefore, much of the learning in music is independent. It is my responsibility to provide students with proper practice techniques and clear weekly goals, and I often use a great deal of the lesson time to discuss appropriate strategies to ensure ultimate success from practice. These practice techniques and goals are usually written in a weekly practice guide, which is to be brought home and reviewed during the week. As well, I encourage a variety of valuable activities and exercises that aid in attaining long-term musical abilities and knowledge, such as aural skills, sight-reading, and music history. Finally, I feel strongly that it is my duty as a teacher to constantly research new teaching methods and continue learning myself. I take a creative approach to teaching, and am consistently searching for new means to teach in a fun and accessible way. These methods, combined with my own extensive studies and knowledge, help me use the most applicable teaching strategies to suit the personality types and learning styles of each individual student.
In return, students should feel free to have an active role in their education, and discuss any ideas, comments, or concerns they may have. I believe that participation is crucial in music education, and strive to ensure that open conversations and questions are a significant part of the lesson. That being said, I hope that students can trust my knowledge, and be open to suggestions and experimentation in the lesson, with the understanding that such recommendations are in the best interest of long-term learning. In many cases, it is the ‘attempt’ rather than the ‘mastering’ that leads to the most success in music education. Learning music is an exciting opportunity, not a chore, and I wish for students to be enthusiastic about their learning experiences. Therefore, most importantly, I expect all students to try. When students try, they are more likely to achieve their musical goals, and, as a result, have a more positive, rewarding musical experience.