I believe it is important for music learning and musical journey to be individual and personal, therefore, I also believe it is my responsibility as an educator to create a learning environment that allows students opportunities to create and reflect on their musical experience. My teaching philosophy is based on the plant and growth analogy, but I try to take it beyond watering. In addition to watering needs, every plant has specific sunlight, soil, fertilizer, and humidity needs. As such, you can not treat every plant exactly the same and expect them to thrive. I believe the same applies to students. I like to present my teaching ideas in multiple ways to allow students to choose the way that works best for them. What worked for me may not work for 75% of the students in my class. This philosophy based on individualization allows students to develop that all important, personal relationship with music. It was one or two teachers that made me connect with music that led me down this path of music study and therefore I hope to inspire the same love in my students. In addition to grasping the personal aspects of music, I am also well aware of the ethical and the administrative tasks that are tied with having a program. When I taught at the University of Tennessee as a graduate student, I had a couple cases where I needed to be in contact with the Title 9 office as well as the head of the school to address sensitive issues. While I hope to never deal with these issues again, I am comfortable speaking to the necessary people to follow protocol on these issues as well as others that could arise.
Students will benefit from my instruction because they will get to choose their own journey in music, so to speak. We may all be learning the same song, but I hope and encourage students to make connections from the music to their own lives. As such, students will have chances to begin to develop their own philosophies about music and how they see the world. This is also be influenced by the diverse music presented to them.