Teaching Philosophy

Personal Objectives and Beliefs:

Learning is not just listening, but absorbing information. In a successful learning situation, the information learned is transformed into a personal toolbox. As a voice teacher in both the classroom and studio I wish to encourage confidence and expression through musical interpretation and mastery. The most important lesson that my students will be taking away is a love for singing. My goal as a teacher is not to be an evangelist, but to provide a foundation for my students which they can build off of in their own unique way.  Teaching is constant growth both emotionally and professionally. By entering each day with a humble outlook, I am sure to be surprised by what my students will teach me, and how I can improve day-to-day. My passion for working with students lies in the beauty of curiosity seen in the learning experience, and the significant growth that I am able to witness in both myself and my students on a daily basis.

Lesson Structure:

My classroom setting will be minimal lecture with focus put on singing and rehearsal time. For the theory base of my classes, technology and visual lessons will be utilized, in addition to theory being incorporated in applicable ways through literature. I will constantly adapt to my students’ needs by changing my approach if necessary, while still challenging them to complete exercises that may be difficult or frustrating at first. If, ultimately, this method does not work, we will move on, and I will not be attached to my “solution” as a “tried and true” result.

Multiple Learning Styles, Adaptation, and Modification:

In both the public school setting and the private studio setting, teaching must be adjusted to fit the student’s needs, whether their intents are a performance track, a side hobby, or a grounding device to cope with other life obstacles. Multiple learning styles must be considered and will constantly be evaluated as I structure my lesson plans and develop my teaching methods. Every student learns differently, and each student should be evaluated individually before being put into the mix of a choral setting. This will be done during the audition process and in a daily monitoring. Adaptations and modifications will be considered for all students, despite having or not having a diagnosable disability.

Expectations for Learning and Development:

In addition to developing a love for music and the voice, my students will be expected to develop exemplary musicianship. This encompasses both technical music skills including sight reading and singing technique, as well as professional skills including ensemble collaboration and soloistic performance skills. Mastery in the singing discipline means having technique that you can rely on no matter the obstacle (sick, tired, sight reading, etc.) My students should be able to adapt to multiple vocal styles such as jazz, classical, and musical theatre, and keep an open mind in choosing their “specialty”, if they so choose to take a specialty. My goal is that my students will be able to walk out of my classroom or studio with the skills to continue their practice in the way that best benefits them.

Music as a Connection to Other Skills:

Music on its own will increase critical thinking skills and a transference of confidence and critical thinking to other subject areas. This can be a guarantee by making connections to other subjects and important musical concepts in each lesson plan. For example, when learning new works, the historical context of the piece will be discussed, in addition to stylistic characteristics of the composer. By noticing and discussing these characteristics throughout the study of the literature, the students will be making invaluable connections and using deductive reasoning when examining new works in the future. 

Professional Development and Goals:

Professionally, and as a musician specifically, I feel that it is my personal responsibility to take charge of my own musicianship and make sure that I have dedicated myself to learning the things I am attempting to teach. If I cannot demonstrate or explain what I am asking my students to do, I have no right to ask them to do it. I would like to continue to build my practice by taking lessons in Alexander Technique or Body Mapping, in addition to doing very targeted research on the adolescent voice and voice development in general, hopefully through means of a doctoral degree.