My Teaching Philosophy
After I graduated from the Music Conservatory in my native country, Venezuela, I assisted a teacher who taught children between 3 and 6 years old. It was totally different from the way I was taught. I discovered the Dalcroze Method of teaching and I researched how to teach music to young children through movements, games, rhythm band instruments, recorders, etc. The children used all these kind of instruments, marched, danced, sang and had a great time. The parents were thrilled, the students felt like great musicians and they couldn't wait to come back to music lessons the next week.
I knew then, that this was the way I wanted to introduce music to my future young students. I wanted to teach much more than a good piano technique. I wanted to develop well-rounded musicians who really enjoy each step of the process. In order to achieve this goal, I have incorporated in my lesson plan other disciplines like ear training, sight reading, improvisation, composition, music history, analysis, and ensemble music.
Recorders and rhythm band instruments are used to teach young students. Playing ensemble music with digital pianos has enormously improved the interest and motivation of the elementary group and also more advanced students.
I like to teach students from elementary level through high school. Each level and age has its own challenges and rewards. It’s not easy to keep students motivated. Participation in festivals, adjudications, master classes and recitals, help them set goals during the year and work harder to achieve them. Because a 30 minute piano lesson isn't enough time for me to achieve my goals for the students, I give them extra time every week. I call it 'Activity Time'. In these extra 30 minutes the students use the computer lab and other resources I have in my studio.
During the last two months of the school year we have group rehearsals. At that time the students who want to play ensemble music, practice together. I also invite the students who play other instruments to join the group. It’s a fun time for everyone, an opportunity to be creative and a good time to practice ensemble pieces for the end of school concert in June.
To be a good teacher requires a lot of preparation and have a thorough knowledge of the subject. It is important to have a clear objective in mind but also be flexible enough to change the pace of the course as needed by the student.