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My mission as an educator is simply to instill a sense of individual freedom in others. To be creative is a powerful attribute. With that, we contribute something to the world – no matter how big or small – public or private. My obligation is to inspire and teach students to push personal and conventional boundaries so they can cultivate their own musical vocabulary. I want them to find their own “voice”.
Using various methods like improvisation, compositional soloing, rhythmic “games”, “string of phrases”, and disciplined practice, the student discovers in the moment by playing their instrument as opposed to heaps of technical exercises that often hinder the creative aspect. I do not condone technical practice. I want a balanced musician who will have more options in life.
I believe private lessons to be the most effective learning experience. I studied with over 8 different private instructors during my early teens up to my professional career. I consider myself to be a student for life and seek out masters to study with even today. With private sessions, the teacher can identify each students individual talents and problems that may need attention in a very economical way.
With this student-mentor relationship growth is generally fast – much faster than most music schools and much less money in the end. The general age I work with is 15 and older. The student must have some experience playing. There have been some exceptions for ages as young as 10 years.