TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

I devote much of my time and energy to create as many performing opportunities as possible for my students, including studio classes, on and off campus performances, participating local, national, or international competitions and summer music festivals, as well as guest artists’ master classes.  These important and valuable opportunities enable young artists to gain technical control and confidence as they master their instrument, and experience the musical freedom to further develop their artistic individuality.  At the same time, these are wonderful opportunities recognize our institution as maintaining a very high musical performance level and artistic standard of excellence.

 

I strongly encourage my students to listen to different recordings, attend as many performances as possible, and to discuss performances, live or recorded, in a critical way to develop their listening capabilities and musicianship.  As a musician, performing at a high musical level is crucial.  You have to possess musicianship to express your ideas and judge in an accurate way.  For example, students are required to perform in studio class, requiring them to display their musicianship, and at the same time, students are required to give comments to the performers, requiring musicianship to evaluate.

 

“Team work” is also an important part of my teaching philosophy.  Through chamber music and orchestra performance coaching sessions, young performers learn chamber music repertoire and relate this to performing skills with larger ensembles, as well as collaborating with other musicians.  The goal for my students is to develop a mutual respect for their colleagues while negotiating performance preferences and musical ideas.  Chamber music performance is one of the most important learning environments for music students and opportunities to perform in these ensembles should be frequent in order to become truly successful musical artists.    

 

It is my goal to assist in the training of well-rounded musicians and respectful people.  For them to be successful, they need to be focused enough to practice diligently, well-versed enough to perform for different mediums, able to critically listen to other artists, and work well with other musicians.  Portions of this list will produce individuals that are lacking an important skill for a successful future and it is my duty to aid my students in their development to be successful in a very competitive world.

 

When students come to study with me, I always ask them what their goals are for going into music and becoming clarinetist.  Some say they would like to perform in a professional orchestra after they graduate, some wish to become successful soloists or chamber musicians, and others show interest or passion for becoming educators in higher education or primary/secondary public or private school music teachers.  To help my students achieve their goals, it is my task to help them develop technically, musically, intellectually, emotionally, socially, and artistically. 

 

When I teach, each student receives full focus of my energy and my attention from the beginning.  I firmly believe in building a solid technical foundation for each of my students, which enables the student to have secure technical control over the instrument and allows him/her to have the freedom to focus on the music and its interpretation.  I set a repertoire requirement for each student based on his/her degree requirement and performance level.  Each of my students are required to invest several hours of practice daily.  Part of my teaching strategy is to also teach students how to evaluate and solve problems on their own so that they can be more productive and efficient during their individual practice sessions.

 

 

 

 

 

Carlos Guastavino: Tonada (Live) - Winnie Fan/Clarinet, Ben Corbin/Piano
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