Teaching Philosophy

I have had the opportunity to teach jazz in a variety of settings including high school and college jazz ensemble clinics, jazz improvisation classes, jazz theory workshops, rehearsals with jazz combos, improvisation lessons and applied studies. Teaching means a great deal to me; especially when I am able to clarify concepts for students when they are confused. When I teach jazz improvisation, for example, I use the analogy that chords and scales are similar to colors on an artist’s palette. I tell the students that it is important to learn how to use one color at a time before using two at a time then three at a time. Freedom comes with focus and structure. My teaching philosophy is to provide my students with a base of musical knowledge which will help them teach themselves and in turn develop their own personal style. This philosophy is of the utmost importance to me, whether it is in a private lesson, jazz improvisation class or jazz ensemble rehearsal.