I offer a safe and inclusive learning environment that provides a world-class, individualized education for every student. My goal is for students to be healthy and successful humans and musicians, and to prepare them for real-world successes both during their time in my studio/classroom and after their studies are complete. My approach to the education of and commitment to my students lasts a lifetime. I believe in helping students cultivate a professional profile from their very first day in my program and I continue to nurture and guide them as they navigate into and through their careers.
The three cornerstones in my teaching are fundamentals, musicianship, and teamwork/community. Through focusing on the desired sound concept, and building a solid foundation of fundamentals, students work routinely to be consistent in their approach to the horn. I also encourage a music first approach to the instrument. 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 and fundamentals, 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 without developing “paralysis by analysis”. 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 or style of music. Furthermore, approaching all aspects of individual progress as a team-first/community pursuit, in an experiential environment, fosters positive studio and classroom settings. I simultaneously incorporate individual curricula while promoting teamwork through group fundamentals classes, sectionals, chamber ensembles of all sizes, horn ensemble, group activities/presentations, involvement in competitions/auditions, and studio travel to be a part of the greater music/horn community at workshops and symposiums. The third cornerstone allows students to understand how the commitment to bettering their self at all times, in order to empower others to be successful, transforms them into contributors and leaders of the future, whether they become professional musicians or not.
As is evident in the student accolade portion of my curriculum vitae, this approach has served my students well over the past 15 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 Department, School, or Conservatory of Music.