Students come to me for private clarinet instruction. As a teacher of this specific field, it is a challenge to teach the same instrument with the same instruction year after year without losing energy and drive. The one aspect at which I feel that I excel is keeping students engaged and motivated. I attribute this to my teaching style and my beliefs concerning how private clarinet instruction should be given.
The teaching style I employ is one of give and take. The student does not simply listen and repeat the information I give. As the instructor, I do initially present the information needed to learn the instrument, but eventually the lesson becomes more directed by me rather than instructed by me, though instruction is scheduled at regular intervals. The final goal is help the student to develop independent thought on style, technique, and overall musicianship.
The one aspect I value above all and ask of my students daily is openness and honesty. Teen years are very tough for those experiencing it, and the last thing most students of that age are comfortable doing is trusting an adult. As one who considers herself in tune with what students can and can’t handle, I feel that I am able to foster a comfortable rapport with students. This professional relationship creates a situation in which students are able to open up, share problems, and talk about ideas that they may or may not normally be comfortable sharing. In the end, students are more comfortable with the instructor and learn to be comfortable sharing ideas and asserting themselves.
My goal is not to simply create better musicians; it is to create better human beings. As a teacher working one on one with students, I am not just an instructor correcting technique issues and giving advice on how to play passages. Students see how I conduct my work, gain insight into what this particular field is like, and hopefully find that they can truly develop in a way that is suitable and comfortable for them individually.