Happy New Year! The below 7 teaching rules are based on my own teaching philosophy. I happily acknowledge the influence of my wonderful teachers, especially my private lesson teachers Jesse Youngblood, Carol Jessup, Philip Aaholm and Robert Walzel. In recent years, I’ve also been heavily influenced by master teachers John Wooden and Joe Allard.
ClarinetMike’s 7 Rules for Building Great Musicians by Dr. Michael Dean
1. Require Excellence. Push students to strive for genuine excellence. [This means they have to practice!]
2. Emphasize Fundamentals. Constantly stress important basics of good musicianship (relaxation, embouchure, articulation, how to practice, etc.). Teach good habits.
3. Highlight Artistry as of Paramount Importance. Emphasize technique as a means to musical expression, not as an end in itself. It’s all about MUSIC!
4. Personalize Instruction. Stay student-centered by working to fit pedagogical concepts to the specific needs of each student. Focus teaching comments on how to do things better.
5. Make Students Think. Encourage logical and creative thinking. Ask questions. Be patient.
6. Be Reality-Based. Focus on practical concerns, not esoterica. Teaching should have a view toward the future.
7. Model Desired Behaviors. Strive to be a good example. Work hard to improve and change.
FYI: Click here for an article I wrote on John Wooden’s ideas. Here’s a link to The Joe Allard Project. Also, click here for an article I wrote a few years ago on how to write a statement of educational philosophy.