During my time of teaching at EN Music Studio, I have learned that no two students are alike. That being said, I simply can not apply a standard curriculum to each student. For example, some students have more natural dexterity in their fingers, some students have more of an aptitude in aural skills, and some students are able to note read faster than others. All of these issues, and more, can be solved with standard exercises, improvisation challenges, and sometimes imaginative play. However, I am left with the question: what is my role? Am I a teacher who simply supplies exercises based on my interpretation of the situation? Although this may be the most efficient, how can I inspire and teach the love of music? After all, learning to be creative and artistic, is the greatest lesson I can teach my piano students.
The question I get asked most often, is what my teaching method is. In short, I use a variety of method books, including Thompson, Step by Step, Faber and Faber, and RCM books. These books, with a teacher’s guidance, help the students learn the “ABC’s” of music. Which finger is number 5? What note is that? How long do we hold that note for? What’s a slur?
The method of teaching music that I use, however, is a combination of how I approach learning music myself, and what my mentors have passed on to me. I use a holistic approach that includes classical music, composition, ear training, and improvisation.
The question still remains: How do I continually encourage and inspire my piano students?
Music education is a never ending journey. With two certificates, and one degree in music, I still feel as though there are ocean-deep areas of music I have yet to explore and learn. I believe that to be a successful music teacher, I must also continue being a student. I am the leader of my piano students, and I aim to be a role model in how to approach new and more difficult challenges in music. I must show the students what it means to be a musician by being a musician myself.
As a leader, I am active in continuing to hone my own piano skills, sharing lessons that I learn on my journey, as well as lessons I have learned from my mentors. As a personal goal, I am to challenge myself with a performance at every studio recital EN Music Studio presents. In my spare time, I am learning the basics of jazz piano to further expand my horizons.
I want my students to understand that with perseverance and hard work, along with a passion, we are capable of many incredible things.