In applied lessons, I strive to create an environment in which each student can set and achieve their artistic and professional goals on an individual basis. Throughout the process of learning repertoire and developing technical facility on the instrument, students will also learn self-evaluation and assessment.
Some specific areas of exploration to be covered in lessons are tone development and body awareness when playing the flute. At the core of flute performance is the ability to produce a pure and polished tone that will communicate the intent of both the composer and performer. Therefore, tone development is stressed first and foremost. Tone development is implemented through methodical study of Marcel Moyse and other tone development books, a specific sequence of solo repertoire, and supplemental exercises I compose for my students. Since tone is intricately tied to body awareness, students quickly discover that a balanced and ergonomic approach to flute playing will resolve longstanding tone production issues. My approach to physical awareness is based on past study of Eurhythmics, Alexander Technique, and the Suzuki Flute Method.
In the TTU flute studio, I expect each student to strive for a high level of achievement in the areas of tone production, technical facility, intonation, and musicality, in addition to an advanced understanding of the theoretical and historical context of each piece. While I expect every student to fulfill certain requirements, I vary instructional techniques and repertoire sequencing based on the learning style and background of each student. Together we establish short-term and long-term technical, performance, and academic goals, and this allows me to assess each student on an individual basis. Additionally, I will keep students informed about and encourage participation in developmentally appropriate performance, competition, and audition opportunities throughout the course of academic study. These opportunities allow students to become active participants in the musical community and gain professional experience. While I will help students prepare for these opportunities, comprehensive growth will always be emphasized over teaching to a single performance or competition.
I expect a high level of preparation and engagement on the part of all students, and in turn I constantly strive to motivate, inspire, and support each students’ artistic and musical goals. At the culmination of an undergraduate degree, it is most important that my students feel our work together has prepared them to reach their highest level of potential with the confidence to pursue their chosen career path.