I offer a fresh perspective on the role of the music teacher. I'm certainly here to help my students learn the fundamentals, but I believe in a why-first approach to lessons. If I can't clearly articulate the reason why we're doing something and the impact it will have on a student's progress or understanding, then we don't do it. Nothing is arbitrary, and every moment is useful.
I try to make sense of things by observing the patterns and relationships at play in the world around me, and I often employ this approach in my curriculum. Whether we're discussing scales, chords, saxophone technique, vocal technique or songwriting—everything can be broken down into simpler terms and component parts. A structurally-oriented approach to music (a phenomenon that is literally structure incarnate) is my favorite way to optimize the learning process, and it makes for some serious WOW moments along the way.
My signature combination of purpose-minded study and big-picture thinking keeps my students engaged at the very least, and at best it encourages them to open their minds beyond music and think about their world more critically and creatively.
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