Having studied music as a child in a very rigid environment, I understand the potential for music to be both uplifting and stifling. When teachers are inflexible to the needs of their students, they can inadvertently discourage the students interest in music. Musical performance is an incredibly personal and profound act; my teaching techniques attempt to tap into the internal creativity found in all students, regardless of age or previous musical training
I firmly believe that, in addition to its place as an artistic medium, music performance and practice can play a variety of roles in our lives. It aids in developing listening and communication skills (after all, you can’t play music if you’re not really listening!) and can help create a calming moment that combats the anxiety and stresses of everyday life.
In order to create a liberating and supportive teaching environment, I abide by the following principles.
- Creativity is key to musical performance. Students who are able to tap into their inner creative selves are better equipped to advance their performance technique and are able to develop unique and personal ways of expressing themselves musically.
- The curriculum reflects the needs and interests of the student. Inspired by the field of critical pedagogy, I make sure that the lesson plans and exercises reflect the interests of each student.
- Improvisation is vital. More and more, teachers are beginning to recognize the importance of music improvisation. Students who are comfortable improvising will find that is aids in their development as musicians and performers.
- Most important, music is FUN! Sure, music is a serious subject that requires focus and discipline. But it can also be incredibly fun!
My philosophies have been informed by the literature of several scholars, including (but not limited to) Paulo Freire, Maude Hickey, George Lewis, Lisa Lorenzino, Pauline Oliveros and RM Schafer.