I always try to show a student new and different ways of hearing music. It not only trains their ear, but also helps them develop an open and flexible mind — receptive to everything that music has to offer.
Understanding and communication between student and teacher are key. A teacher must be aware of a student’s goals, practice habits, and emotional states in order to offer valuable guidance. This was certainly missing in my own music education, so I am turning this negative experience into a positive one for my students.
I first taught lessons in 2009, while still in high school. I have taught on and off since then and really enjoy it!
In the summer of 2015, I completed a tour of three Colombian cities with my band. In addition to three formal concerts, my group led two weeks of clinics in two cities for which we developed a jazz education curriculum that paralleled Colombian folk music traditions with African-American swing. That was highly effective in improving students’ sense of swing and we felt such a huge sense of accomplishment.
“I had no idea that was so easy,” as one of my Colombian jazz clinic students told me. I think he found it easy because I was committed to teaching him the best way I knew how, and he was equally committed to mastering the craft.
I love experiencing new places and cultures, walking the streets of a new city and talking to strangers, but my favorite place is one I have been to many times. Medellín, Colombia. My mom was born there, and many members of my family live there as well. You hear a lot of negative stories about Colombia, but Medellín is special. It was built in a valley, and I love its hilly landscape. The food, whether something as simple as a buñuelo or pan de yuca, is something I always look forward to. While walking the streets, I admire the architecture, and how uniquely the city is laid out. The smell, like mountains and fireplace, hits you as soon as you get off the plane. I especially love the family reunions and gatherings that inevitably occur when I’m there.
English, Spanish, Portuguese and French
Jazz guitarist and composer Django Reinhardt. His unique melodic and rhythmic sense remains unmatched to this day. His dynamic way of interacting with a rhythm section can only be likened to a bull rider at a rodeo. Listen and decide for yourself if you think Django is the rider or the the Bull.
Yes, and neither of them is related to music: I ride a unicycle and enjoy writing Shakespearean sonnets.
Binki Shapiro and Adam Green