My goal as an educator is to produce well-rounded musicians by maintaining an environment that fosters both excellence and critical thinking so that the students have the necessary skills to succeed, regardless of what they choose to pursue professionally. They are students only for a short while, and it’s my duty to ensure that the time and resources they invest in their education are well-spent.
I intend to help each student learn how to approach performance situations in which the outcome is highly subjective, such as a competition or an audition. Instead of focusing on the result, I challenge students to surrender their need for external approval and direct their undivided attention to the task at hand. No longer hindered by fear of criticism, the student is free to enjoy the intrinsic value of the music itself and is untethered from performance anxiety.
It is crucial for students to understand how the skills needed as a musician can propel them forward as they venture on to their next challenge. Developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, applying learned concepts, and persistently working toward a goal are habits that are essential for success as both undergraduate music majors and as professional adults. I believe the purpose of studying music at a higher learning institution should be for the development of musical and analytical skills so that the student may find success in whatever path they choose. Despite all of the obstacles involved in finding success, I have found that hard work and persistence combined with great instruction can propel all students toward accomplishing their goals.