Philosophy of Teaching
Safe Learning Environment
Providing a safe environment is my top priority. Students of all ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations and learning differences are welcome.
Fear of making mistakes stops many people from trying something new. I work from the belief that everyone wants to understand, and if they don’t understand, I can explain it differently. I encourage exploration, questions and feedback, and I reward effort, not perfection. Mistakes are simply an indicator the brain is catching on and forming new pathways. I encourage positive self-talk and teach students how to support themselves with patience and kindness while learning.
While some aspects of learning are universal, everybody learns in unique ways. Some students are visual learners, some aural, and others tactile. I customize my teaching method to suit the student's learning style. I believe talent is something that is developed rather than an innate trait.
I have studied child development and pedagogy over 40 years of teaching, parenting and grand-parenting. I enjoy getting to know my students and see how learning piano positively affects multiple areas of their lives like focus, attention span, self-discipline, and respect. I gently encourage the development of these transferrable life skills.
Reading vs Playing by Ear
Reading music is not unlike reading books, and similar to the way a good reader makes a good speller, strong music-reading skills lead to being able to play by ear and compose music.
I use a wide variety of musical genres to develop diverse reading and playing capabilities. We will learn everything from classical, rock, blues, jazz, and holiday music.