Teaching is part of my personal mission. Having experience in teaching elementary to collegiate level musicians, I enjoy meeting students where they are and helping them to develop the tools necessary to continue exploring what interests them in music.
Lessons available in:
Music Theory, Composition, and Music Technology;
Flute Performance and Chamber Music coaching.
Providing opportunities for outreach and connection is what education means to me.
Teaching anything from Queer Musicians and their impact, to music technology, or flute performance.
Collaborating on a new piece and working with ensembles, chamber or large, to workshop and premiere new works.
One-on-one instruction to help focus educational goals to personalized plans or fluctuating interests in composition and flute.
Teaching isn't a "Backup Plan"
For those who can't, teach.
This loving phrase is periodically the punch line for many teachers in the profession. I've always known that I loved teaching, but for me, the skill of teaching is closely tied to experiences of professional achievement and failures. Understanding how something works and how to teach them are separate, but equally necessary skills to be a well-rounded educator. Since becoming a college educator in 2019, I've had the unfortunate experience of teaching and making music through a global pandemic, pivoting to remote/online teaching, and now transitioning back to the classroom/studio within a short period of my career. While these experiences exposed many feelings of being an imposter, they did allow me an opportunity to dive deeper into why I enjoy teaching and composing.
To have an opportunity where the entire world pauses is both horrifying and a moment of reflection many generations do not get. In creating digital content, exchanging an absurd amount of digital communication, and developing resources never created before, I began to understand the strength and weaknesses of my teaching. As we entered into a time of dissolution of normalcy and into a dystopian, digital-world where tech-savvy instructors took to their LMS with gusto and elegance to create interactive and well-designed lessons plans in hopes their students would continue to engage the same way they did before, the others were left to tackle their tech-phobias without support.
The years that come are going to force us to continue to question what it means to engage and "return or learn" from what we universally experienced. While we all had our own experience with the pandemic - some lost their jobs/careers, some where displaced, and some were able to navigate through with minimal damage - we were all traumatized by what happened; whether we understand that trauma, recognize it, or not. We must allow that into our teaching and embrace this change in mindset.
Music is not a universal language.
We all listen to music; we all understand how music makes us feel and how it plays on our emotions, enhances a visual, or how it can pass the time (studying/dancing/celebrating), but what many neglect to realize is that music is actually a language with many different dialects and regional accents. We say music is "universal" out of blindness to how much music is really alive and integral to communities other than Western culture. Music is a part of culture, much like religion, government, and social norms, and many of us would agree religion/government/societies are not universal. But it does not mean we can't have a relationship to music that may be shared with a certain collection of people. Music is learned - and prescribed - in today's society based on how we consume it, who is delivering the message, and the ability to make money from it. Just like taste for different types of foods can be developed, we can also develop further taste in music from around the globe; we just have to be willing to open our ears and minds to the unfamiliar and familiar relationships that will unfold in discovering something new.
Doing is teaching - teaching is doing.
I sometimes enjoy the process - messy, unorganized, scattered, uncertain, excited, new - but what I enjoy more is the outcome of clarity, understanding, mutual respect, and appreciation of the skill/knowledge that was acquired. Teaching music is most rewarding when the I can help someone understand their musical taste better and help find ways to engage with music they don't know or haven't given a chance to listen to. Exploring new music, old music, music in the popular and unpopular, and creating connections is at the core of my teaching philosophy. In whatever genre, we can find educational opportunities that will grow understanding, build bridges, and cultivate curiosity. In making music, we find the intersections of performing and making. As a performer, we discover the methods and reasoning behind the finished product. In whatever stage of music, we see education; either self-led or taught by a peer, or directed by a teacher. With education, we can continue to build the language of music, to enhance its meaning to any generation, and continue to acknowledge its global importance to every culture, now and in the past.
I teach because I love to connect with people and show them more about what it means to "do" music. I teach because I want to help those interested. I teach because it's part of who I am and what I love to do.