Teaching Philosophy

Successful music education requires equal passion and dedication to both music and teaching. I believe in music education that motivates and inspires students through positive modeling and approval-based techniques and ultimately teaches the student to teach herself with confidence. I believe that in order to create this style of education, the teacher must develop an understanding and rapport with the student and encourage musical growth through creative problem solving and attention to detail.

While it is essential to approach every student as a unique musician, there are certain fundamental skills that all clarinetists must possess, among those, beautiful tone, working embouchure, supported breathing, facile technique and articulation, and thoughtful phrasing. Some of my favorite books to use to achieve competency in these basic skills include the J.B. Albert 24 Varied Scales and Exercises, the Carl Baermann Complete Method Third Division, the 32 and 40 Etudes of Cyrille Rose, the Gustave Langenus Complete Method Part Three and the Larry Guy books on Embouchure and Intonation, as well as other exercises such as long tones. As a student progresses, I prefer to then tailor etudes to the individual needs of the student, often employing such studies as the Cavallini Caprices, the Jeanjean 18 Etudes, or the Kell Staccato Studies. Literature also plays an important role in my teaching. It is important that students understand the body of works available for the clarinet and have the opportunity to perform them as they are able according to their proficiency level. The clarinet has such a rich and varied musical history, and every clarinetist should be well versed in the events, the music and the players.

Music is more accessible today than ever, and listening plays an important part in any musical education. It is vital that students take advantage of the opportunity to hear great players, not only on their own instrument but on every instrument. I also find it extremely valuable for students to record themselves in lessons and in the practice room. The recording offers an objective account of one's playing and can be used for significant improvement. Music education plays an important part in developing future performers and educators as well as providing an appreciation for the aesthetic elements within a society. I hope that my philosophy articulates my desire to create a positive educational atmosphere that is as encouraging as it is challenging.