About My Teaching

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music….” (Psalm 98:4)

I believe the fundamental aim of all music is joy. If it’s not actually joyful, then it’s helping to comfort us in our sorrow so we can be joyful again. I do my best to keep this in mind in my teaching. The challenge is that music is not an easy thing to do. 

Learning piano (or anything!) is like growing a tree. From a seed grows the root, the stem and the leaves, and through out its life, the fruits of its growing will depend on the health of all three. The larger and longer lasting the tree, the slower is this process. Like such trees, the growth of anything that can last requires patience and an integrity in the process. I seek to help each student’s “musical tree” grow in this way. Attending to all parts with patience and love, their “tree” can become strong, stable and fruitful, and able to continue growing long after they’ve left the nurturing environment of lessons.

As there are many types of trees, there are many types of students. Some are at heart competitors, others are creators, improvisors, explorers, enjoyers or some combination. My musical friends all have different inclinations. Yet, whatever form it may take, whatever musical path they find most interesting, every one of them is driven by a joy in music. To paraphrase Emily Dickinson, if I can help one student’s joy to grow, “I shall not live in vain.”

 

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Bur Oak Tree