As a professor, it seems like a good idea for me to mention something about my educational philosophy. Below are some of my key principles in teaching the clarinet, saxophone, and other subjects. [It is important to remember that almost all musicians will be doing at least some teaching during their careers.]
1. Focus on Building People. The molding of a student’s professionalism is a primary concern.
2. Require Excellence. Students are challenged to strive for genuine excellence.
3. Emphasize Fundamentals. Important basics of good musicianship (relaxation, tone, rhythm, etc.) are constantly stressed.
4. Highlight Artistry as of Paramount Importance. Technique is emphasized as a means to musical expression, not as an end in itself.
5. Stay Student-Centered. Student understanding and development are foremost concerns.
6. Personalize Instruction. Work to fit pedagogical concepts to the specifics needs of each student. Also, make every effort to understand how to best motivate each student.
7. Stress Pedagogy. Concepts of effective teaching are emphasized – especially the pedagogy of private lessons.
8. Make Students Think. Logical and creative thinking are emphasized and encouraged. Absolute conformity, or “clone-making,” is viewed as an inadequate and undesirable musical goal.
9. Be Reality-Based. Practical concerns are the focus, not esoterica. Teaching should have a view toward the future.
10. Model Desired Behaviors. Strive to be a good example of the qualities that produce genuine success.