All students of music, through the application of directed and concentrated effort, possess the means to develop their skills to the highest levels of musicianship. Learning should be a lifelong process, and the methods employed in developing these skills should be progressive as proficiency of intermediary skills is achieved.
As a music educator, it is my responsibility to guide students toward mastery. To achieve this goal, I work with students to establish high standards for progress and growth. Through continuous work to improve my own musical abilities, I endeavor to model excellence and musicianship for students through frequent demonstration. With an emphasis on the importance of listening, students are further encouraged to develop a mental model of their ideal sound. Ultimately, the goal of my teaching is for each student to mature to the point that they no longer rely on my guidance, but have developed the technical foundation and musical skills necessary to continue progress toward their goals.
While I believe that there are universal core competencies that every student of music should possess, I have also embraced flexibility in my instructional style. Whether in the private teaching studio or in the classroom, I take time to assess each student’s existing abilities, discover their musical goals, and determine how hard he or she is willing to work to achieve these goals. Students are of many diverse backgrounds and identities. A student’s sense of identity undeniably influences his or her perception of their potential, their motivations, and their confidence – traits that are essential in the successful expression and performance of music. Regardless of background, all students can achieve mastery at the highest levels of musicianship that they desire. I seek to provide methods to help students increase their perception of their potential, to discover and develop their intrinsic motivations in pursuing music as a profession or as an avocation, and to instill the confidence required to achieve the goals they set for themselves. Instruction and expectations are then individualized for each student while maintaining high educational standards.