Teaching Philosophy

Motivating students to achieve artistic excellence, providing them with the expertise to be self-directed learners, and encouraging students to make meaningful contributions to musical communities and the larger society are my primary goals as a musician and teacher. This goal is achieved by ensuring individual student needs are my priority and establishing a safe and nurturing space for students to develop their individual musical voice.

As a clarinet specialist, I provide individualized instruction to cultivate the skills necessary for my students to be confident, successful musicians. The specific needs, learning styles, and interests of each student are carefully considered in the design of each class and lesson I prepare. I believe every student must work on fundamentals, including the physical aspects of playing—tone production, breath support, intonation, extended techniques—and the artistic—rhythmic accuracy, stylistic choices, phrasing, and articulation. These skills are best developed while concurrently engaging with the core clarinet repertoire and researching the history of the instrument in order to develop the students’ critical thinking and music literacy. It is also important to challenge students by introducing contemporary repertoire that broadens their stylistic pallet, expands technical ability, and engages sentiments and ideas that are relevant in today’s world. 

My research explores contemporary Canadian clarinet music through the lens of multiculturalism as well as the relationships between ethnocultural identity and contemporary clarinet music. These research areas allow me to incorporate cross-cultural learning, issues of appropriation and ownership, social justice, and a variety of styles into my teaching through diverse repertoire reflecting local, national, and global diversity. 

Staying active as a performer and researcher directly informs my teaching practice and through my varied projects and my commitment to them, I provide a professional model for my students. Through constantly reflecting upon my own pedagogical approach and remaining current with clarinet scholarship, I provide opportunities for students to collaborate, innovate, and approach clarinet artistry with an entrepreneurial spirit. I am committed to ensuring each student’s individual needs and supporting their growth and development as globally-engaged, well-rounded clarinetists with diverse skill sets who can be leaders in today’s musical communities.