BM, William Paterson University, Jazz Performance
I have been teaching music since I was a young high school student. Over the years, I have crafted a unique and open method to teaching music that makes students feel engaged with their practice. I started my journey in middle school on the saxophone, taking my studies to the esteemed William Paterson University in New Jersey. Over my years of study there and in New York, I connected with other instruments I played such as the flute, piano, and guitar, and taught each of them along the way. I also developed methods for teaching vital ideas of music theory, and ear training. This has evolved into a holistic approach to instruction that focuses on each students individuality, while making sure they are receiving important lessons to make them a well rounded player. No matter what the age, I have something to offer each serious student of music.
I began teaching privately in high school- mainly teaching my younger fellow students. During college I taught at two private lesson studios in New Jersey. I expanded the instruments I offered there, and met students young and old, and over time, I learned how different people of different ages and backgrounds learned and understood music. I now currently teach both privately and at a private studio in Queens. My teaching method is highly evolved, tuning into the personality and capabilities of each student, reacting lesson by lesson to offer material and methods that will be most helpful to them.
My philosophy is mainly individualistic. If a student is young, there are many personalities you may encounter- some naturally focused, others not. While I will still aim to deliver essentially the same content, my approach with each child varies based on their attention span and focus. A lack of focus often hints at a creative bent, so I may listen a bit more than with a student naturally prone to taking directions. This 'small talk' usually engages a child, making them feel more invested in their lessons. Older students guide their own lessons. I offer musical ideas, and things like the style practiced is more up to them. I make sure that foundations are covered in all cases, but the specifics come from each individual student.
My teaching style is a mixture of a relaxed, conversational feel combined with strong focus. I will constantly insist on stern focus on the material being played- offering big picture ideas as to why a piece is being practiced in a certain way, while asking the student to tell me why such and such a method makes sense. Very small mistakes in the music will be cause to stop and refocus. I do, however, allow diversion and conversation in lessons. If there is a song that may explain the musical idea, we will stop and listen. If a young child wants to relay a story from school they thought of because of our practice, I will stop and listen. I may also speak in depth about musical history, style, or even the psychology of music. I think this combination draws students into the mind of a musician, and gets them to start thinking like one.