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Teaching Philosophy 

Every student is different.  From the way their body is shaped, the way they approach the oboe, and their attitude. Amy role as a teacher is to adapt and change with each unique person.  What works for one student may not work for another.  Each lesson is a new adventure, with new goals and exciting creative ways to accomplish those goals. Within this continuously changing and evolving way of teaching there are certain fundamental approaches that I maintain throughout each lesson: communication, individualized goals, leading by example, instilling confidence, and giving back to the community of oboists.Every student is different.  From the way their body is shaped, the way they approach the oboe, and their attitude. Amy role as a teacher is to adapt and change with each unique person.  What works for one student may not work for another.  Each lesson is a new adventure, with new goals and exciting creative ways to accomplish those goals. Within this continuously changing and evolving way of teaching there are certain fundamental approaches that I maintain throughout each lesson: communication, individualized goals, leading by example, instilling confidence, and giving back to the community of oboists.

Communication.  Communication is an essential part of life. It is the foundation of my teaching. As musicians, we do not typically communicate with our words, but with our sound and our bodies.  I have struggled to learn in traditional formats associated with academia.  This has led me to a teaching style in which students are communication.  It is important to make this distinction, because a lack of communication can greatly hinder potential learning. With open communication, students feel free to disagree and question the teacher, which greatly benefits the student and enhances their education. Communication also helps me realize whether there is adequate understanding, or whether I need to explain it in a different manner.  I encourage my students to identify an additional supportive adult in their life to support their learning process in a positive and beneficial way.  With this added level of support students tend to be more successful and willing to reach out when they experience struggles of any kind.

Individualized Goals.  Each student is an individual, therefore I create individual, and constantly evolving lesson plans to fit each student’s needs.  Different learners demand different approaches to learning and I consistently work to improve my teaching to ensure that I am meeting each student in an optimal way.  I expect each student to demonstrate growth, and celebrate their progress along the way. 

Leading by Example.  It is important for students to find their own personal and musical sound.  For example, I will ask a student to analyze a portion of music before sharing my own interpretive thoughts, or encourage their opinion of music before sharing my own interpretive thoughts, or encourage their opinion about nuance and gesture before giving mine.  My ultimate goal is to nurture their own unique voice through the study of oboe that is created and embraced by them.  I share my own voice and commitment through a rigorous performance schedule that demonstrates and normalizes the experience of a professional musician. This gives ample opportunity for students to watch and hear me perform and develop their curiosity about the life of a performing musician.

Confidence.  Playing an instrument is a vulnerable act that exposes the performance as both a musician and an individual.  Confidence is essential to success and I work to cultivate this among each student I teach.  I intentionally create a circle of support within the entire studio. There is an expectation of positivity in all aspects of the studio. The studio will always lift each oboist up with critiques, whether they are aspects done well, or those that need some work. Reed-making is viewed as a privilege as opposed to a nuisance. In my studio, negative self-talk is not allowed, because it benefits no one.

Giving back to the Oboe Community.  I also believe that in teaching, a student learns more than they would by being taught. Studio classes are lead not only by me, but also by individual students within the studio, whether engaging in solo or team teaching.  Because I believe in inclusion and community, I foster an attitude of engagement at every level of mastery.  Students in my studio benefit from teaching and playing for local beginning and intermediate oboists. In this way, I hope to sustain an ever growing community of oboists through my teaching and performing. 

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