Philosophy of Teaching
Teaching is one of my greatest passions and a fundamental part of my life. I strive to give students all the attention, knowledge, respect, admiration, and excitement that they deserve. The greatest reward is to know that I have inspired and motivated students into pursuing careers in music. My mission as a teacher consists in guiding young adults into fulfilling their own dreams and in ensuring that they attain their full potential, both as musicians and as human beings.
Music teaching requires a superior balance of science and art. Instruction must be demanding yet supportive, intensive but nurturing, and professional while warm. Just as young musicians need to be challenged and pushed, they need to know that they will be mentored throughout their careers. In my instruction I address the technical aspect, the artistic interpretation, tools for effective practicing, relaxation and anti anxiety techniques, introduction to the business of music (to ensure success in the professional field), and the importance of discipline and hard work. Moreover, at Central Michigan University, we provide piano majors with a wide variety of performance opportunities on and off-campus, and we offer piano master classes taught by renowned international teachers.
Lastly, the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to teaching cannot be underestimated. I spent my formative years in a conservatory setting, in my native Portugal, in an environment that promoted interaction between artistic disciplines. The intensity and focus of this multifaceted education exposed me to a variety of creative experiences that greatly enhanced my own, and contributed to making me a more complete artist/teacher. I firmly believe that a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach is essential in the education of all human beings, because it fosters a better understanding of the world today, plants the seed of intellectual curiosity, prepares students to think critically, inspires them to lead accountable and purposeful lives, and it develops in them a sense of responsibility and a wholesome and open outlook on life. For the music student, it will provide him/her with a versatility and global adaptability that is becoming increasingly more necessary and in demand.
Students of mine have been accepted into graduate degrees at some of the top 100 Graduate Schools of Music (according to the ranking of the US News and World Report), such as the Cleveland Institute of Music, Michigan State University, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Louisiana State University, University of Illinois, and University of Iowa, among others. Several students have won major prizes in auditions and competitions.
I am Nationally Certified in Piano by the Music Teachers National Association.