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BM, Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Recording Arts and Cello Performance
1st place in numerous competitions, including LAVS, ASTA, and MTAC VOCE Performed with Crossroads Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall
I am a recent conservatory graduate with a sincere love for both classical music and teaching. I spent much of my childhood and adolescence learning cello and piano, went into electrical engineering out of high school, and ended up somewhere in the middle studying audio engineering and cello performance. During my college years, I was given the opportunity to share my passion for cello with some children from my church, and after discovering how much I loved teaching music, I knew I had to enroll in some pedagogy classes. Much of my musical life has been spent around world-class musicians; most recently, I have been fortunate to study under Amit Peled and have chamber coachings with members of such groups as the Borromeo, Emerson, and Dover Quartets.
My teaching experience actually started with tutoring friends and classmates in math and occasionally other subjects. I find that most principles of teaching are cross-disciplinary though, and it did not take me long to feel comfortable teaching cello. I maintained a small personal studio for about three years, during which time I also had a temporary gig introducing music to children with disabilities. As much as I can obsess over mastering my own skills and hobbies, it somehow makes me even happier to see and nurture that growth in others.
From my experience, students vary greatly in musical background, personality, and needs, so I view each new student as a blank slate. My philosophy has always been to patiently build a solid foundation and not rush into advanced pieces at the risk of accumulating bad habits. At the same time, I recognize how important it is to keep learning fun, so I negotiate the balance accordingly. The material I use consists mainly of Suzuki and Rick Mooney's technique books, with other supplementary books and pieces depending on the student's needs. I believe that listening is the fastest way to improve one's ear, which is especially important when learning stringed instruments, so I encourage all of my students to listen as much as possible in their spare time.
I think it is true that teachers often learn as much as students do. I always find myself reflecting throughout the week on lessons that I taught, and considering ways in which I can better interact with and tailor my instruction toward each individual student. My most important duty as a teacher is to help students connect with and enjoy the music, so I make a point of identifying any patterns and points of interest, and encourage them to express themselves freely while respecting the composers' intentions. Few things make me happier and more fulfilled than watching my students progress in both technique and their love for music.
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