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TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

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I offer a safe and inclusive learning environment that provides a high-quality, individualized education for every student. My goal is for students to be healthy and successful musicians and humans, and to prepare them for real-world successes both during their time in my class and after their studies are complete.

The three cornerstones to success in my teaching are fundamentals, musicianship, and teamwork/community. Through focusing on the desired sound one wants, and building a solid foundation of fundamentals, students learn to be consistent in their approach to the horn. I encourage and teach a music first approach to the horn. The basic concepts of this approach are guiding the airstream through each phrase and incorporating the philosophies of Arnold Jacobs’ “Wind and Song” – to sing the music as you play. Using a well-formed sound, approaching solo and ensemble music, etudes, and excerpts with this music first approach often leads students to finding and understanding the efficient techniques needed to be an effective performer of all literature. In employing the first two cornerstones, it is my goal not to teach students to play repertoire, but to teach them to be musicians that can play any piece of music. Furthermore, approaching all aspects of individual progress as a team-first/community pursuit, in an experiential environment, fosters a positive studio and classroom environment. It is my goal to simultaneously incorporate individual curricula while promoting teamwork through group fundamentals classes, sectionals, chamber ensembles of all sizes, horn ensemble, group activities/presentations, and studio travel to be a part of the greater horn community at workshops and symposiums. The third cornerstone allows students to understand how their commitment to self through others empowers them to be contributors and leaders in the future.

As is evident in the student accolade portion of my curriculum vitae, this approach has served my students well over the past 11 years. Students have achieved as little as understanding a fundamental sound and as much as winning international awards as a horn soloist and every level in between. I have conducted superior rated secondary level bands at music festivals, put on shows for thousands of fans at football games, and coached students to find their musical voice on the horn by employing this teaching philosophy and I truly believe that it matches the vision and mission of any School of Music.