My teaching philosophy is centered around 3 principles: creativity, technique, and personal development. Students discover their creative voice on the instrument through improvisation. In my studio, students are motivated to explore their instruments and see the beauty in their uninterrupted ideas. My students feel empowered to take chances and reach for their highest musical aspirations. Because each student is unique, it is my job to ignite their passion, fuel their creative potential, and facilitate their growth by focusing on specific goals.
To achieve mastery of an instrument it is important to reduce as many unneeded movements, mental blocks, and tension as possible. My approach to teaching technique is by using a limited set of very simple practices that utilize body mechanics, fluidity, and gravity to optimize the student’s overall sound. This system produces more consistency and reduces tension in the body. My goal is for the student to develop a strong foundation of fundamental skills that are sustainable and won’t lead to stress or injury. By focusing on and instilling good habits, students bridge the gap between technique and musicality and won’t be burdened by physical obstacles. Students identify goals and look realistically at what kind of technique is required of them. Through positive reinforcement students are encouraged to take ownership of their technical skills, to listen and react to what is needed of them physically, and to stay motivated to achieve musical excellence.
Personal development is very important to me because so much of music is practiced off the instrument. I aim to be a positive role model to practice what I teach. Through structured self-reflection and listening, students identify sources of strengths and weaknesses. My students learn to look objectively at their playing to hear inconsistencies in time, sound, and body movement to move towards more fluidity in motion and sound. This area also includes listening to and transcribing various drummers, songs, and compositions. Approaching students with personal development in mind reinforces good habits, allowing for professional development. Students keep a practice journal to track progress and regularly set goals. It is very important to me that students learn to be their own teachers. By asking them to talk through their thinking process, I teach them to listen carefully, critically, and to see the learning potential in every moment