This has been a really fun fall semester for me for many reasons- being back in my hometown, reconnecting with old friends and new ones, playing music with lots of different people, and a wonderful start to the symphony season. Also, at the beginning of the fall semester, I was brought onto the music faculty at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, FL!
My first semester at NWFSC saw 7 students in my studio. I have been teaching violin lessons privately for almost a decade so far, so teaching itself isn't new- however this was my first chance to do it as a college course.
One fun aspect of teaching at the college level is that the students are older than what I typically have in my studio. There's a lot more joking around (if you know me, you know I can't go very long without cracking a joke- I come from a very humorous family- can't help it) and communication happens a little more effortlessly. That being said, don't get me wrong- I LOVE teaching beginners and children! My youngest students at this particular moment are 4 years old, but I've had students as young as 3. I'll get into that more in a future blog entry.
Teaching for me is an ever-evolving experiment in which I am constantly looking to grow and expand my own teaching techniques to provide my students with experiences that continually enrich their abilities and expand their minds. Music, and more specifically, violin playing, is an extremely sophisticated study in that it combines an endless number of extramusical disciplines and ideas at every moment. When I talk to my students about the way their bow sits on the string, we are really touching on subjects of geometry, relativity, and velocity- like I said, sophisticated stuff! But if I am doing my job well, the student won't be overwhelmed, rather, the violin will simply be a model, a tool to help us absorb those sophisticated ideas in an accessible, practical way.
Have I lost you yet? Wait... Come back!
Let me simplify. Our brains are very powerful pieces of hardware. Think of Music as software that is so powerful, once it begins to be loaded in our brains, it can actually strengthen and re-order the hardware that came standard when we were born, making it work more easily, more cleanly, and for a longer amount of time. The possibilities are endless! Oh, and music is beautiful and fun and everyone loves it. I forget about that part sometimes. (Just kidding.)
If you are in the Niceville / Crestview / Shalimar / Ft. Walton Beach area and are interested in taking violin lessons, please click the button below. Lessons are not limited to full time students and anyone who is interested can and should get in touch with me. The spring semester begins in January!