I believe in order to develop your own voice you have to trace your steps within the history of anything in order to move forward and be original. My goal as a teacher is to not only provide my students with a strong musical foundation rooted in theory, history, and ear training but to also have them reach within in order to tap into their true selves.
My teaching philosophy is centered on motivating students to seek their full potential through the medium of music. Developing the character of students motivates them to succeed in other aspects of their lives. I am specifically interested in exposing students to a positive musical experience, building their self-confidence and contributing holistically to their education and personal growth. I believe in providing a creative and motivating environment that will bring out the best in students in and outside of the classroom. I believe that music is a wonderful way to express ones self in a way that words cannot express. I feel that music is a source of healing that touches all people.
I begin with the basics of trumpet playing with all my students and focus on the importance of producing a good tone and intonation. Our musical experience starts with the initial impressions of sound. I focus on the student’s strength and their weaknesses. Students work on sight-reading to enhance their musicianship in the moment. Every lesson challenges the student to approach playing with intent on the first try at all times. These steps are important as it gives the student the foundation they can use to build on.
As the student progresses lessons become more focused on jazz performance. Students focus on all aspects of section playing within a large jazz ensemble and a small group. This requires a great amount of listening to recordings. Students focus on Jazz theory, which include scales, modes, chord identification and ear training. Having this foundation gives the students the strength to become better at hearing the music as it is happening spontaneously. Through listening and transcribing great jazz artist that have come before us is also a necessity when learning the language of jazz and it reinforces the tools the student is practicing.
As students continue to build their foundation their own voice begins to develop. It is at this point when I begin to work with the student in cultivating their voice. I never want my students to “sound” like me but only take away the process and love that I have for playing music. I have students transcribe their favorite artist(s). I encourage them to compose and arrange songs. I have found that in doing this helps an artist to be honest about what and how they speak over the music.
In summary my students walk away with the tools to be very successful as performing artists, educators or whatever musical avenue they choose to experience.