Teaching Philosophy

As a violin/viola instructor, I have been greatly influenced by my mentors, Mimi Zweig, Dr. Brenda Brenner, and Dr. Metro Kozak. In their teaching practice, they instil the importance of establishing a strong technical/musical foundation with all students within a nonjudgmental teaching environment. Through this perspective, I believe that the quality of instruction from the outset of study affects all future development and potential for musical artistry. I value and honour this responsibility as an instructor and make every effort to create an atmosphere that fosters personal wellbeing through learning, experimentation, and creativity. I believe that every child has the ability to learn and cultivate an individualized, well-rounded music education through efficient daily practice, patience, and parental support. Through the teacher-student-parent triangle established in the early stages of study, students are encouraged to develop technical prowess, artistic creativity, aural/reading skills, theory/history as it relates to their level of proficiency, and ease in performance. I consider my weekly applied lessons with students as an opportunity to communicate effectively, reward efforts through encouragement, and challenge potential. In addition to private lessons, I believe that group class instruction nurtures social interaction with peers, healthy motivation, ensemble/improvisation skills, concert etiquette, and performance practices.

I am passionate about music education, violin pedagogy, and in particular, teacher education, and I hope to leave a lasting influence on the next generation of musicians and music educators. In postsecondary classroom/studio settings, I encourage students to pursue excellence in their own teaching, regardless of the situation or setting. I believe that all students pursuing a music degree should be exposed to a variety of pedagogical lenses and methodologies in order to successfully teach young beginning students, either within the school system, through private instruction, or through community music programs. I present pedagogical concepts in a holistic manner, where students are introduced to a wide variety of musical experiences: critical thinking, creativity, skill development, problem solving, applied activities, and arts advocacy. I firmly believe in an interactive setting, where students feel comfortable to ask questions and learn from their peers through immediate feedback. This effective means of learning is encouraged through performance opportunities, small and large group collaborations, hands-on teaching experiences, and various video (e.g., YouTube) listening/watching assignments. As a result, students are able to transfer the knowledge acquired in the classroom and studio to other disciplines, and acquire effective practice strategies and communication tools that can be implemented in the future in a variety of settings. Within a nonjudgmental classroom/studio atmosphere, students embrace their personal learning styles, feel respected as both musicians and scholars, and process performance and pedagogical feedback in an effective manner.