Music education (and other arts) is an often undervalued piece of our culture – this, despite a plethora of research verifying its positive influence on our health, our smarts, and our success in life.
Having said that, it’s my opinion that traditional music education often falls short of its full potential (you can learn more on my thoughts about this from my blog post, The Trouble with Traditional Music Education). This is not the result of uninspired teachers, by any means. It has more to do with a long tradition of learning and memorizing rules, and the idea that musical expression is the same as interpreting a composer’s dynamic markings. There is also the added challenge of teaching large groups of students at once, which many music educator’s must do. How do you develop artistic individuality in thirty students during one fifty-minute class?
That’s why, despite holding a Master of Music in Composition, I ultimately did not go the route of a university or public school music educator. I decided instead to fill the gaps I see in traditional music education. And I decided that the best way to do that is in one-on-one, or small group settings. With this fill-in-the-gaps ideology, I began teaching keys, theory, comp, and songwriting before I completed my Masters.
After many years of performing in bands, in 2007, I discovered a modern vocal technique that finally allowed me to overcome my classical vocal training (which didn’t translate well into pop-rock). I was so overjoyed to finally sing the way I felt that I studied the technique further and added vocal coaching to my list of services.
Whether teaching or creating blog posts, my goal is the same: to nurture individuality, encourage creative fulfillment, and create an outlet that will last a lifetime.