I strongly believe
that the skills of experimentation, critical thinking, and self-evaluation are crucial to becoming self-sufficient musicians and well-rounded members of society.
As an educator, I make it a priority to welcome all of my students—regardless of gender, race, age, or ability—into a safe and comfortable learning environment. I approach each unique teaching opportunity with patience and an open mind, providing differentiated instruction to accommodate the various learning styles of my students. This flexible and customized approach helps each student absorb information at their own pace, setting them up for success. At every stage of their artistic development, I encourage my students to make, identify, and learn from their mistakes. I strongly believe that the skills of experimentation, critical thinking, and self-evaluation are crucial to becoming self-sufficient musicians and well-rounded members of society.
The study of percussion is unique in that it involves learning an entire section of instruments, as opposed to studying a single instrument like clarinet or trombone, in which each instrument has its own vocabulary and sound profile to explore. Although some playing techniques transfer between instruments, most require a specific, in-depth approach to achieve success (yes, even the triangle). I have been fortunate enough to perform with professional ensembles on just about all of the standard percussion instruments thus far in my career. My favorite part of being a percussionist is not knowing what instrument you will be called on to perform next.
My ultimate goal as an educator is to help my students become the most well-rounded musicians and percussionists they can be. In most instances, I learn something new from my student throughout each session. As the late Alan Abel observed, “the best teacher is the perpetual student.” The desire to be a life-long learner is a core tenet of my pedagogy, and is a philosophy I wish to impart on my students.