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Teaching Philosophy

I believe it is important for a teacher to be supportive, encouraging, and kind. In my experience, positive reinforcement is more effective than negative. I see each student as a whole person with unique talents and goals. Instruction is tailored to each individual’s needs and interests. While some of my students are very serious about their study of music, others take music lessons as a hobby that brings joy to them for the rest of their lives. There is room for both kinds of students in my studio.

A good teacher must be firm without being overly critical. I aim to recognize the talent and capacity of students I teach in order to help them overcome their limitations and realize their potential. There is a fine line between bringing out the best in a student and giving them more than they are capable of, resulting in frustration.

In dealing with children, it is important to be a good role model so the student sees a responsible adult they respect and an accomplished musician they admire. Qualities that encourage this respect include consistency, dependability, organization, and an even temperament. I communicate on their level, in language they can understand. With adult students, I’ve found they need just as much encouragement as kids do. My adult students impress me with their courage to be a beginning or intermediate student, willing to engage in the challenging tasks of learning and growing through practice and performance. Music adds so much depth and richness to their lives, and they need to feel safe in an environment where they can enjoy their progress, and make mistakes without being judged.

I have a strong educational background, and it’s important to me to stay current with pedagogical ideas, methods, and technology. I achieve this by attending conventions, participating in and auditing master classes, evaluating students of other teachers, and teaching collaboratively.