Teaching Philosophies

A long–term goal that I have as a music teacher is to instil enough confidence and knowledge in my students to enable them eventually not to require a teacher, but rather to independently direct their own lifelong learning and practice in music.  I teach from a general principal that musicianship is most enjoyably and successfully advanced through putting music making and listening first, ahead of academic learning (e.g. of music theory).  More specifically, I believe that when we learn or rehearse an element of music (e.g. a scale, pattern sequence or cadence), instrumental and musical ‘language’ proficiency is almost always most effectively progressed by performing in relation to a specific tempo, time signature (usually “four–four”) and phrase length (of usually 4 bars — including a rest for half or most of the ending bar).

I also have — and encourage in my students — high realistic expectations for their achievement.  In conjunction with this, I try regularly to acknowledge progression and achievements, and likewise, also have my students recognise and ‘own’ their accomplishments and hard work.  Finally, I believe that it is through playing with others that the ‘batter’ of musicianship developed through practising is ‘baked’ and gains social meaning.  The experience is not only transformative, but is the memorable — even magical — reward; it ‘fixes’ the hours of practice into a more lasting facility.

I hope this has been helpful and encouraging.  If you have any questions or wish to enquire about lessons, I would welcome your call (020 8530-0710).

Yours faithfully,
Claude Alexander

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