I believe that the student determines what direction music instruction should take. The teacher should listen to what the student desires musically, and adapt to what he or she would like to accomplish.
There is no “right” way to teach; I think listening to the student and really paying attention to what they want to learn is most important for successful instruction. My experience with playing many different musical genres, including jazz, classical, rock, improvisational music, etc., makes me a versatile musician and teacher. Also the fact that I am a consistently working performer in New York City helps make my teaching relevant.
Nine years. Prior to teaching, I attended Stony Brook University for Jazz Saxophone performance, and the University of Vermont for Jazz saxophone performance.
I take pride in having performed in over 350 gigs in New York City in the last five years, as well as recording a solo album and being featured on multiple recordings, including LPs.
I had one student who was very shy and unsure of herself when she first started her lessons. But after a couple of months she became much more confident in her abilities and it showed in the way she played. One day after a lesson, she told me she couldn’t have “blossomed musically” (her words, not mine!) without my help. I almost cried because it showed me what an important role I, as a teacher, had played in her life.
Germany is a favorite of mine. I love its culture and arts scene. I was surprised to discover quite a few excellent live jazz clubs in Berlin. We think of jazz as a typically American genre, but I found that it is beloved and enjoyed by people of many nationalities.
I speak English and a little German.
John Coltrane, because he has been my idol and favorite saxophonist since childhood. I’ve listened to all his albums; I have a particular affinity for “Blue Train,” which he released in 1958.
I am also a writer and have published a book of poetry. I find that writing and music have much in common — both require creativity, soul-searching, and imagination.
Pill, The Velvet Underground, Morton Feldman