Natalie Cressman’s perspective on teaching at SJW

It’s been a great couple weeks working here at Stanford! My biggest lesson so far has been the realization that engaging the students and getting them into the music is way more important than trying to overload them with a lot of information. It’s easy to want to focus on every single area that needs improvement, but if students are overwhelmed with too many things to think about, they really won’t retain anything by week’s end. It’s so much more effective to work on the most important aspect that needs work that will have the greatest impact on their playing. The reward of teaching this way is the “ah-ha!” moment when students are able to solve a technical problem or suddenly understand an improvisational concept. That moment is just so rewarding for me, I’m pretty sure that’s the reason I like teaching so much. The kids in my classes this week are so fantastic, they have such great energy and its a joy to help them get to the next place in their development as young musicians.

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