My teaching philosophy can be expressed in two categories: first, the philosophy that guides my pedagogical approach, and second, the underlying goals of character development that I hold for each student.
In terms of philosophy, I believe that all humans are born with an intrinsic ability to learn music and that ability is a skill that a teacher nurtures and develops. Some recent studies like Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and Daniel Coyle’s The Talent Code point to the rule that 10,000 hours of concentrated effort (what musicians call “practicing”) yield high performance in the area of study. Dr. Suzuki’s well-known quip “Knowledge is not skill; knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill” now seems especially prescient and ahead of its time.
As a teacher, I keep returning to the conviction that my chief role is to help shape my students into fine human beings who demonstrate intelligence, empathy, sensitivity, persistence, cooperation, and resourcefulness. My aim is to focus on character development first, musical skill second. My advice to parents and students is simple: be diligent, love deeply, listen well.