Teaching is an incredibly rewarding process of investing in the development of students and watching the investment mature over the duration of students’ lives. My goal is to have students leave my studio or class empowered with knowledge, prepared to continue teaching themselves, and eager to keep learning throughout their lives. In formation of my pedagogical ideals, I studied how learning occurs. Babies and toddlers learn rapidly via the Natural Learning Process. Through parental demonstration, children create a mental image of tasks like walking and talking, employ trial and error practice, and use body feedback to additionally interpret and correct any errors. This efficient method tends to be abandoned as children grow older; as the ego develops, and concepts such as good and bad are solidified, children become less willing to risk trial and error practice. Thus, in my teaching, I create an environment rooted in trust and mutual respect where experimentation is an encouraged, necessary tool for learning and personal growth.
In private lessons, I develop trust with each student by consistently demonstrating skill, compassion, and honesty. In such an environment, students develop a conception for characteristic performance practices, feel comfortable employing trial and error methods, collaboratively arrive at solutions, develop analytical skills, learn to verbalize musical observations, and gain confidence. Knowing that lessons only cover one out of the many hours a student will practice or rehearse each week, I see teaching students how to practice and evaluate themselves as integral to their musical success. I reinforce the necessity for goal-oriented practice, physical relaxation, self-evaluation that is constructive, and creativity in finding solutions in the practice room. Students learn to break down complex, overwhelming tasks (like learning a concerto) into smaller, manageable pieces and gradually work toward ambitious goals. Such work requires analytical thinking skills, creativity, and focus in a world full of distracting stimuli. I also integrate skills and concepts from other classes (such as aural skills, music theory, music history, or other related fields) to give students clear context for their work, promoting the value of a well-rounded education.