Teaching

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Teaching Philosophy and Testimonials-

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. By 1977, 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.

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.

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. My hourly fee is $75.

Testimonials-

Emily Bacon, an advanced high school senior seeking to major in music performance, wrote,

“Taking lessons with David Thomas will put anyone on the path to clarinet enlightenment.”

Her full testimonial is HERE.

The following is from Matthew Boyles, who studied privately with David from ’01-’03 and recently graduated from Cincinnati Conservatory in Music Performance. Matt has been successful in several professional auditions.

“David is the type of teacher who always wants to find the right method by which to convey his thoughts and ideas to his students. I had some issues with breathing, and we discussed it until he found a way to describe what I needed to do in order to correct it. His teaching will always stay with me through my career as a musician.”

A 15 year old student named Robin wrote a detailed and heartfelt essay about her experiences studying with Mr. Thomas. You can read the essay in its entirety HERE.

Karen Scranton, Robin’s mother, wrote the following:

“I’ve been trying to give (my daughter) some ideas (about relaxing and letting go), but moms have a hard time transmitting valuable information to a teenage brain. That’s why we have to have wonderful people like you to help us raise our kids! Thank you for your intuition and careful noticing of how Robin is. You are very good at this and are helping me be a better parent and more aware of her in a different way.”

She also wrote, “David is able to find just the right time for a student to work on various aspects of playing, so the student has successes during each lesson, but always leaves with something new to work on.” For a detailed testimonial, please go HERE. Karen has offered her contact information if you wish to inquire further. Karen Scranton (614)237-9789 Email: seadogs5@sbcglobal.net

Marcy and Thomas Savage, whose full testimonial is HERE wrote,

“Our son has shown dramatic improvement in the 18 months he studied with David – we just wish that we had found David years before!”

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