The best way to teach music, it seems to me, is to first foster love of music. Too often students develop a negative attitude early on; frustration, feelings of inadequacy, or the belief that they are not good enough to enjoy playing music hinder their growth from within. When I begin lessons with a student, helping them to deconstruct their fear of playing music is usually first on the list. Then comes creating some sort of routine from day one; however short or simple, daily practice is usually the quickest and easiest way to learn how to play an instrument. But that kind of discipline is best when fueled by genuine passion. I place a large value on listening to masterpieces, and encourage students to reflect on what makes them great and what we can learn from them. My hope is to guide those wanting to learn trumpet towards proficiency and teach universal principles of technique, but it is ultimately up to the student to discover the sound that makes them excited to play, whether it comes from Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Philip Smith, or Maynard Ferguson (God forbid).
Music is about expression and connection with other human beings on a deep emotional level that can often be inaccessible through mere words. My goal is to help people tap into that language, no matter how small the beginning vocabulary, and get them to say something.