A Short Philosophy of Teaching (part 1)

I teach in a holistic fashion: as a performer, I conceive of whole phrases, put pieces together in whole forms, and approach playing the horn as a sum of physical and mental processes that are inextricably linked. Old methods and new are combined to provide flexibility, well-roundedness, and sound musical thinking. As in every other part of life, a balance must be found between individuality and blending in with those around us.

Especially with young students, I believe in the Platonic notion that the role of a teacher is not limited to a focus on the subject being taught, but is also to help shape the develop the student as a human being. Of course this doesn’t mean that I teach religious ideas, as that is not my place. Neither is it my place to outline a set of morals for the student to live by, but here the lines start get a little blurry: for example, when performing as a soloist, it is both morally and musically necessary to treat our accompanists with respect. Eventually, all musicians find ourselves in leadership roles — how do we perform as a leader.

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