Educational Philosophy

I base my teaching practices on the National Standards for Music Education. While I am versed in several standard teaching methodologies, my philosophy most closely resembles Gordon's Music Learning Theory. The general idea is to teach music as a language; following the sequence of listen, speak, read/write, analyze. This is very different than most traditional music teaching in that sound comes before sight; that is, notation is only introduced after students are aurally familiar with common musical constructs.

Students learn songs by rote as a vehicle for listening and improvising. Songs can be from any genre, as simple or as challenging as is required: Hot Cross Buns to Giant Steps, Taylor Swift to Schoenberg. In this method, students can immediately explore music on their own terms. Once more familiar with melody, harmony, rhythm, etc. they can begin to read and write music. Just as a child would learn a language, students are presented with sheet music that represents something they already know. This way, students continue to perceive music as an aural phenomenon, disconnected from notation.

I feel the primary benefits of this method are that students make music from day one. They learn quickly to interact with the music at the same level as any professional; from there, they simply work to hone their musical talents, master instrumental technique, and learn more repertoire. Another definite benefit is that students of any ability and any instrument can still learn music this way. By beginning with only singing, students improve their auditation, or mind's ear, and can easily transfer the musical knowledge to their instruments.

For more information on Gordon's Music Learning Theory you can follow this link. Most of my techniques are adaptations of those I learned at school from Drs. Chris Azzara and Richard Grunow, collaborators with Dr. Gordon. You can also feel free to contact me with any questions you may have regarding my particular application of this method.