Music and the process of learning have always fascinated me, thus bringing me into the wonderful world of teaching. My aim is to create a resource-rich environment where students can pave their own way to musical independence, success and enjoyment. Music is for everyone.
Although I continuously update my methods and resources according to the newest advances made in the field of music pedagogy, the following are some key aspects of my teaching philosophy that always remain constant.
All-round musical development begins at the very first stages of learning. Along with a varied and balanced musical repertoire, I actively focus on teaching technique, theory, sight reading, aural training and musical knowledge.
Piano playing demands the most delicate and subtle motions to the boldest and most majestic movements, in response to the enormous range of human emotion. Teaching students how to use the body without risking health hazards is an integral part of my technique.
Developing every student’s skills so as to make them musically independent is my primary goal as a teacher. Through engaging in critical discussion, students analyse their own performance, thus building the honest ear. Solutions to musical problems often come from students themselves, through questions I ask to inspire them to think creatively and produce indigenous ideas.
Although I advocate thinking about most of the musical nuances while learning the notes, true music communication only begins after the note-learning stage. Challenging students to discover different musical nuances and engaging in critical discussion creates a healthy environment for musical development and independent thinking.
Good music communicates. Ensemble playing, listening to recordings, and attending concerts broadens students’ musical horizons and inspires them to reach new heights. Therefore, I aim to ensure students have frequent opportunities to perform in formal and informal settings. This fosters their talent with appreciation, builds their confidence, helps them conquer nervousness and stage fright, and builds their ability to critically appreciate their own and others’ performances.
Every lesson is based on a well-developed plan for maximum benefit. The lesson time may be spent on learning new concepts or reviewing established ones, but the most important goal is to explore beyond the notes, thus equipping students with resources for efficient practice at home.
I expect all students to learn the notes by themselves, through the efficient use of these resources. For young students, the triangular relation between the teacher, student and parent, providing the right guidance and supervision, is absolutely essential in order to set and achieve goals during practice. Students do not merely walk into the lesson… they have to earn the lesson time through daily efficient practice.
A teacher is not a magician. The only way to create beautiful music is through daily, efficient practice. Mindless repetition during practice is a sheer waste of time. Addressing problems rationally and head-on is the only way to solve them. I show students how to get the most out of their practice time, by breaking problems down into elementary parts and then setting realistic goals to solve each part of the problem. My goal is to empower students to develop a thoughtful and rational attitude towards practising.
These practice habits foster discipline, good time management and the desire to work hard and efficiently – all qualities that tremendously boost problem-solving skills in every aspect of a student’s life.