I first learned to play the clarinet in 1972, after hearing a demonstration of various instruments, whereby I chose the clarinet because it "went the highest and the lowest" of them all.
The more I learn about playing music, the more I love teaching. At age 17 I was proficient enough in clarinet technique to instruct younger students. Through the experience of mentoring beginning players, I discovered that the process of deconstructing the mechanics of playing the instrument enables the teacher to better instruct himself. The enlightening experience of imparting knowledge to others has motivated me to continue teaching the skills of making music on the clarinet to this day.
Each new student shows me what they need. Since 1989, after moving to Columbus, Ohio as the Principal Clarinetist with the Columbus Symphony, I have had numerous students graduate from my studio and go on to study clarinet at the university level, including notably, Indiana University, Northwestern University, University of Michigan and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. I also coach university level students and adult professionals, helping them prepare for orchestral auditions or other performance events as needed.
I have no preference for any particular age group when I teach. All ages are a joy to teach, each with their own unique breakthroughs in learning to learn and to express themselves from the core of their being.
Better understanding of how we live inspires better teaching. Beginning in 2003, my teaching philosophy has included some critical concepts of physical awareness which I learned from the Alexander Technique, with great success for my students. The Alexander Technique emphasizes balance and poise in the use of the whole self, including proper body coordination, mental and physical attitude, and physical and mental focus. The Technique enables me to analyze the student's use of his or her self, allowing me to craft a style of teaching tailored to each student's needs. Rather than merely "getting to the goal" of playing all the exercises in a particular book, which often comes with many negative compensating habits, I teach the most efficient and natural way for a student to learn to play the instrument, and by extension, learn to live better day to day.
The ultimate goal of any teaching method is to impart to each student a greater awareness of the complexity and beauty of playing music through their chosen instrument.
I teach from my home in Columbus, Ohio.