The Brain Garden Piano Studio Philosophy
Personal I believe I am a student of life that is fortunate to have a passion, and an opportunity to channel that passion into teaching piano. I am an expression of the life and experiences that are happening around me.
My goal is to infuse my students with a love for piano. I aspire to provide my students the opportunity to realize their abilities for themselves, and for them to gain the confidence to believe that they can accomplish that which they may have at one time believed to be unreachable.
My goal is to encourage them so they will leave each lesson inspired to practice with a desire to play the piano for themselves and others, with either a will to progress or to enjoy.
I aim to hold myself to a standard of being the type of teacher that would motivate the student to strive to be more like the teacher, not just in musical or technical ability, but in the general manner in which they conduct themselves in life.
Any student of the piano has the ability to be successful. I believe that accomplishments in music are not measured by the accolades one receives, but rather, how hard one is willing to work. Is the student willing to see this journey to the end and attempt to reach a pinnacle in their own ability?
Studio My goal is to provide the student with the necessary tools, skills to use those tools, and information needed for success in their musical journey. Ultimately, it is the job of all teachers to take the student to a point in their journey where the teacher is no longer needed. Although, continuing to have a mentor is always a wise idea.
I expect my students to participate to the best of their ability. I understand that each student has a different threshold of willingness. I expect them to exceed that threshold of willingness until the desire to succeed overcomes the mindset that is holding them back. Attendance, practice, musical exploration and following instructions, are key elements to success within The Brain Garden Piano Studio.
Goals for my students consist of a balanced musical approach to understanding why; artistic expression is necessary, how musical interpretation impacts the listener and what technical skills are needed in order to musically convey imagery, emotions, and the composer’s vision. My hopes are to encourage my students to develop an appreciation for not just music but for the arts, and self-discipline: while surpassing their own expectations of what they believed they were capable of doing.
Performance opportunities are considered highly encouraged, and while not every student shares a desire to perform publicly, I provide opportunities to perform in small informal studio recitals which I encourage parents to consider as part of the learning experience. This will help to ensure a well-rounded musical education. While I don’t believe that competition in music is a necessary part of growth, many students reach great heights in the process of preparing for such events.
The language of music through piano should be shared openly and not be out of reach to those that have the desire, willingness, discipline to practice and learn the art of expressing their thoughts and dreams through the sound of music.
Through all of this I try to remain flexible in my availability, and my approach while maintaining consistency and adhering to my studio policy.
Teaching & Learning Developing good habits, technically and musically are paramount to reaching musical proficiency. These goals are reached through the use of proven pedagogical methods, along with graded classical and contemporary pieces, technical exercises, aural training, reading exercises, and music theory. Using standard and creative approaches to obtain the technical skill needed to deliver and convey musical ideas and allows students to express interpretations clearly, musically, and artistically.
Teaching to me is at times, offering guidance without the student realizing they are learning. It’s a natural process. I feel most ideas and concepts are better learned and internalized during moments of self-discovery when one has an open mind, coupled with the trust of the teacher, and the ability or willingness to be humble. Without respect on both sides, the learning process becomes a one-sided argument.
I have adapted my teaching styles from every person I have ever come in contact with. I understand that every student will have different strengths and weaknesses. It is my job to recognize and nurture the strengths of the student while at the same time helping students realize, actualize, and build on their own strengths while overcoming challenges.
It is my belief that creating a mentally and emotionally balanced individual may be achieved by accessing parts of the mind that can be reached through musical discipline and artistic expression.
Building Trust and Relationships Throughout my life I have encountered many unexpected teachers, life lessons, and learning experiences. I have learned many (what have come to be) valuable and at times, hard lessons. While going through these experiences, I did not know I was in the middle of a life lesson, and in many of them, I felt as if I had failed miserably. However, I’ve realized that in most cases there is no failure. Failure is generally a state of mind and often there is much to learn from this perceived notion of failure. Either you show up or you don’t. Either you learn or you don’t.
Realizing that one can learn might be the leading obstacle to actual learning. To me, success, is the ability to change the way you think, the way you act, and what you believe. Success is when others, see a positive change within you. Success is being able to forget your regrets, trust your instincts, bottle your pride and share your winning secrets. Success is realizing that you are an extension of your fellow man and only through securing the good of others, can one continue to secure the good within oneself.
Learning to work with, not against.
Learning to listen first, not be heard first.
Learning to be mindful, not careless.
Learning to strive for harmony, and recognize dissonance.
Learning to follow through, reach goals...and not give up.
~The Brain Garden Piano Studio Teaching Philosophy
The Brain—is wider than the Sky—
For—put them side by side—
The one the other will contain
With ease—and You—beside—
The Brain is deeper than the sea—
For—hold them—Blue to Blue—
The one the other will absorb—
The Brain is just the weight of God—
For—Heft them—Pound for Pound—
And they will differ—if they do—
As Syllable from Sound—