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BM, Cleveland Institute of Music, Viola Performance
I began teaching in 2011 and have been consistently teaching since then. I began teaching in Cleveland, and eventually grew my studio to 60 students. This was a lot to handle, but I loved every second of it. Seeing and being a part of a student's progress is one of the most rewarding things I have experienced in my life. I like to make sure the student is having fun as well as staying focused on progress. If a student starts to find that what they're doing isn't keeping their interest, I like to mix it up and help them learn songs they know (from Disney movies, etc.).
For beginning students, I use the Essential Elements book 1. This book introduces the student to the instrument in the most practical way while making it fun, and it has the student reading music from the beginning, which I find very important. After this, we go on to Suzuki book 2 and a scale book. Then we move our way through the Suzuki books and start to incorporate more complex scales and etudes. I have experimented a lot with this method and it seems to really work for most students. If there is a student that it doesn't work for, I find another method that keeps them interested and motivated.
I am a very supportive teacher but at the same I am very adamant about the student reaching their potential. I really go out of my way to help a student to grow as a musician, so they can feel how rewarding it is. I believe the role of teacher is a very important one and we make a big impact on student's lives. I like to keep things fun and positive, with an element of always knowing what the goal is ahead. For younger students I like to give them weekly practice charts so they can see how much work they're putting in. If they complete enough practice charts, they get a reward. I find this is very helpful in the beginning stages of learning for younger musicians. For older students, I really nudge them to take auditions for a higher seat at school, or depending on how serious they are for youth orchestras and summer programs.
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