“The role of a teacher is to make himself obsolete.”― George Neikrug
Technique and Artistry
My first rule of teaching the violin or viola is that it is not about me. I am most concerned with the healthy technical and artistic development of my students. Their success is my goal, but the achievement thereof belongs to them. I do not want my students to practice for the sake of pleasing me, but rather for the sake of the advancement of their own skills. As a teacher, I strive to be useful as a guide in all things technical, and a cheerleader in all things musical.
In my lessons, I give top priority to playing with technique that will best serve the individual performer in the long run, but with an eye towards the musician’s health. Having had my own dealings with tendonitis in the past, I understand the importance of listening to the body. To this end, I have learned techniques such as neural mobilization and tension exercises for the health maintenance of violinists and violists.
My aim for each of my students is that they develop into critical thinking violinists and violists who are ready to function in the professional music world and in life in general. I provide weekly goals of progress, but ultimately the student will learn how to set these goals and plan how they will achieve them with guidance. For many students, this often begins with learning how to practice efficiently. In general, I approach teaching as a problem-solver; I may use varying tactics in accordance with the different learning styles, needs and goals of my students. I also have a black belt in dubious analogies and dumb jokes.
One of my primary goals for my students is for them to grow in confidence and be willing to take risks. Music cannot be the province of the risk averse. Playing correctly is desirable and necessary, but sometimes we need to let our hair down. I want my students to not be afraid of making mistakes, but instead to become comfortable with taking risks for the sake of greater expressiveness. To quote what may or may not be from a web comic “Failure is not an option; it is mandatory. The option is whether or not you let failure be the last thing you do.”
Musician for Life
It is my hope to make the journey of music performance one that is approachable and applicable to life. I will work with my students to accomplish their goals and become self-reliant musicians, able to convey their hearts to their community through music.