"... To help students become life-long lovers of music..."
I always knew that music would be a part of my life.
My whole family loved music. My dad sang and played piano every day. He taught us songs to sing, and accompanied us when we put on performances. My mom was our most enthusiastic fan and always encouraged our musical endeavors. She even sewed costumes for our little shows. My aunts and uncles would get together and harmonize on all their favorite songs late into the night; even after I was supposed to be asleep, I was upstairs in my bed listening in, and adding my own harmonies.
I always knew I wanted to be a teacher.
When I was in elementary school, one of the teachers let me bring home some old workbooks at the end of the school year. I spent that summer “teaching” my brother and sister, and assigning them pages in the workbooks!
It was only natural that I would become a music teacher!
My early experiences with music shaped who I am as a music teacher. My dad and his family made music-making fun. My mother never let practicing become a chore – she even told my piano teacher that she would not force us to practice, because she wanted us to just love music. (Of course she always found little incentives to encourage us to practice – such as doing a chore for us or asking me to play piano while she did dishes to help entertain her while she worked.) Their strategies worked: my brother and sister and I are life-long lovers of music!
I want the same thing for my music students, and I think this philosophy of life-long love of music applies to students of all ages. I strongly believe that music helps young people to become critical thinkers, improves their understanding of all academic subjects, and gives them a positive outlet for self-expression. For older students, music helps promote relaxation, stimulate the brain, and slow the effects of aging.
Understanding learning styles and learning differences is an important part of every lesson I teach. I strive to learn about each individual student and tailor each lesson to his or her needs. I encourage individuals to tap into their strengths, and help them to grow in areas of weakness. I also strongly believe in an interdisciplinary approach to teaching, and I like to connect the music in our lessons with history or current events or mathematics or even sports.
My goal is not to push students to become the next Mozart or Pavarotti. I simply want to share with them my enthusiasm and love for music.