My teaching centers around students’ individual predispositions and talents. Each student has something special to offer, and each one has different goals to achieve. In their weekly lessons students work on technical issues, but they also learn about historical and cultural aspects of the repertoire. I incorporate into my curriculum activities that emulate real-life situations, such as audition preparation. My goal is to give students a solid foundation for their future as fine performers and music educators, but mainly as well-rounded, curious individuals with a passion for learning.
In my teaching I evaluate individual physical predispositions. Many performers suffer from repetitive-motion injuries due to previous poor training. Each student has a different body shape and so a one-size-fits-all pedagogical model is not effective when it comes to playing a musical instrument. When working with my students, I demonstrate and emphasize the basic techniques of proper breathing and posture, and adjust their instrument and reeds accordingly. During the four years of study, we find the most suitable and comfortable set up that they can use in their future, including finding a good instrument and the right style of reeds.
I also teach my students about various performing styles, diverse repertoire ranging from Baroque to present day, and I encourage them to perform actively in campus-wide and community cultural events. Music is a living art and it needs to be practiced as such. Students’ lessons address the historical background of each piece and I often question them about their knowledge of music history. They write a short term paper, comparing three different performances of a piece they are working on, including basic information about each performer and a critical comparison of the recordings. These papers provide a point of departure for discussions of artistic license, articulation, style, and performance practice in their own performance.