Teaching

Study With Me!

I teach Bassoon, Contrabassoon, reed making for both Bassoon and Contrabassoon as well as coach chamber music. I have experience teaching people of all ages, from beginners, advanced students, college students and amateurs. 

If you are interested, please send me an email for rates and availability. 


Teaching Philosophy

          My love and passion for teaching has been with me since I discovered the art of pedagogy. I have learned from so many professors over the years- whether it was chamber music, reed making, orchestral excerpts or solo repertoire-and I continue to learn through my teaching and performance experiences. I believe that preparing students for a life in music after their academic studies is one of the most important skills a teacher can have.

          My philosophy of teaching is simple and pure. Be positive, clear, a cheerleader to push them ahead and work harder for a career in which they love. Every student is different, so it is important to me to learn about the student’s background and career goals and evaluate how best to accomplish them with a clear semester-by-semester approach that addresses their strengths and weaknesses. Most of the time these goals change, because the student excels or stays stagnant for a period of time. The “stagnant” periods are the most important. These are times to listen to recordings, return to fundamentals and work toward making their past experiences benefit them to even greater advantage.

          Pedagogical history/lineage and reed making are among my favorite topics. I have studied reed making with many top performers in North America. Through reed making you learn a lot about the history of the bassoon, sound concepts, performance techniques and other traditions that are passed down orally and may have faded away because of the homogenization of musical study. These are important things for students to know and learn and I feel grateful that I have the knowledge and opportunity to pass this information along to students.  As a young teacher, I find that that my peers are neglecting this very important part of pedagogy.

          Chamber music is much the same way. Teaching students how to listen to each other, what to listen for, how chamber music relates to orchestral and solo performing, is being neglected in many pedagogical schools. One cannot throw a student into an orchestra and expect them to do well without the student knowing how to correctly perform in the ensemble. Playing first bassoon versus second bassoon in a large orchestra or first/second bassoon playing in a Mozart serenade are different skills and the student needs to know why and how to overcome these differences. Additionally, listening to something differently, using a different bocal to play high notes as a first bassoonist, changing their reed style to play under the first bassoon as a second bassoonist are also important skills that must be taught.

          Teaching the young and old, alike, is so interesting to me. They require different things, as far as their educational habits are concerned. The young students are long sponges, and one must be careful to explain things exactly as they are to be done otherwise instruction may be taken out of context. With older students, more complex analogies and different types of instructions may be used at the same time to get different results depending on what is required of the student and the music. All of this psychology of teaching is so interesting to me, and the more I teach the more I learn from the students, the better I become as a teacher and pedagogue.