Wednesday Teaching Reflections

As I mentioned in my previous post I spend most of the afternoon and early evening giving private cello lessons.  Wednesdays are much the same though I do start and end a bit later in the day (roughly 4:30 – 9ish).

I first started giving private lessons while I was still in high school.  Occasionally, while I was an undergrad at DePauw University School of Music, I did the same.  For a couple of years I was a “music assistant” to my cello professor.  Most of those duties involved giving technique lessons to other cello majors.  Also during those undergraduate years and following I would occasionally sub for some of the professors in theory courses or special topics courses.

In the interim years from then until I move back to the Louisville area I spent mostly freelancing and performing.  I would occasionally give some educational presentations but once I’d settled here I was one of the music instructors at a local Gymboree Play & Music.

That was an interesting learning experience.  I cannot discuss the details of the curriculum as I’d signed a non-disclosure form for the company.  Needless to say, I spent most of my time there teaching children from the ages of one to five both onsite and at a local preschool, Our Precious Gems.

I began doing cello sectional coachings while I was still at Gymboree as I blogged about on Monday’s post and eventually started giving private lessons again.  Just last year I coached some ensembles an gave a talk on “Alternative Careers as a String Player” for the Summer Strings program given by the IU Southeast Arts Institute.  Later that fall I was invited to teach at IU Southeast as an adjunct and as the IU Southeast Arts Institute cello instructor.  And here I am now.

Many of the individual presentations or residencies I’ve given over the years usually touch on topics related to the margins of classical music and at some point I will need to make a list of presentations I can offer as I would love to do this more regularly.

For the purposes of this blog, though, as I’ve said, the privacy of students is paramount (especially as many of them are still children) so no names or many details will ever be given here.  What I can and want to talk about are some teaching, pedagogy and other general educational issues and it looks like Wednesdays are as good a day as any to blog about this since the teaching week will be fresh on my mind.

And I should probably find less generic titles for my Sunday-Wednesday weekly bloggings–you’d think that I would have enough creativity to be able to do that, eh?  :P

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