A Youthful Approach to Music

The value of having a youthful approach to music

I do my best to keep an enthusiastic and "youthful approach" to teaching my students, whether they're 12 or 72. I've found that it's a healthy approach that seems to bring out the most in my students and the best out of myself.

Being Playful

When I am explaining a technique I try to use playful visuals and stories to demonstrate my point.  The imaginary aspect of stories can help students produce the desired effects. And I don't do this as a "ploy" or as a "practiced technique", I do it because I'm a naturally animated individual and being playful is a part of who I am.

Using body language to express what I'm looking for

When I want to get a specific sound out of an orchestra or individual, I will mimic what I need them to sound like through body language, as opposed to just telling them what I'm looking for. For example, if I want them to be quiet, I might tiptoe around them like a mouse to get the idea of what they should be doing. I'm not afraid to emote as a way to teach.

Selling It!

I encourage all my students to "sell it" when they play, even if they have the wrong note, encouraging them to focus on the feeling as opposed to "getting it right". This is because I believe it is just as important to for a young student to emotionally connect with the music and the instrument as it is to learn right notes. Enthusiasm comes first!