My goal as a teacher is to provide an in depth understanding of the instrument to my students. Whether we are learning technique specific to the instrument or general musical concepts, it is important to me that I take the time to ensure that my students not only learn how to do something, but also the reasons why we are learning a specific concept or technique. At the end of the day, my ultimate goal is to teach you how to teach yourself, so that you may enjoy playing the instrument outside of our lessons together.
I prefer not to conform to a specific teaching style, because every student is different, and I have been fortunate to have a great variety of types of students throughout my years as a teacher. Some of my students are children and adolescents who are looking to pursue music when they go to college or auditioning for state and regional band programs. Many of my students are very busy adults who are either looking to pick up an instrument for the first time as an escape from their everyday hectic lives, or they are coming back to an instrument that they put down years ago and looking to have a good musical experience again. I also have very young students who have parents looking to get there child into learning an instrument for the first time.
For my child/adolescent future musician students, I will teach with a much more structured atmosphere and focus on all of the aspects of technique and music theory that they would be expected to know and play as they move closer to a professional level.
For my busy adult students it is always a case by case basis. For those who have previous experience, I typically like to address teaching them how to play styles of music and tunes that they want to learn to play. For those who are new to music, I take them through a step-by-step process for learning the basics of the instrument while simultaneously teaching them how to read music. And in either case, many of my adults have busy professional lives where sometimes the only time they have to play their instrument is when they are in a lesson with me. That's ok. NO JUDGEMENTS! If the only time you have to play is during our lesson, then I'll find something new for you to learn at each lesson.
For my young beginners it is all about having fun while playing music. While these lessons are also very structured, I also prefer not to be the stereotypical stern music teacher. I've heard way to many horror stories from my adult students who had mean and impatient teachers when they were children. I would say that my philosophy with my young students is an amalgamation of my approach with my busy adults students and my child/adolescent future musician students. I want to make sure that they are learning, but never discouraged.
For all students I want to make sure that they are enjoying the learning process and I want deepen their appreciation of music and make the entire experience a fun one rather than a chore. I want to inspire the student and find ways to instill passion in them to feel a desire to reach their specific goals, whatever they may be.