my teaching philosophy
I teach students to love music—to cherish its bare beauties and stubborn knots, its grounded resolutions and flying whims. By integrating performance and collaboration into every classroom, I emphasize how fortunate we should feel to be music’s momentary or even lifelong pupils. Yet, as I underscore in much of my own research, I concurrently teach students that our love for music, no matter how marvelous the repertoire, is neither necessary nor sufficient to validate ourselves as good and conscionable members of society. Indeed, the loftier the work, the greater introspection we must practice in order to stave off any temptation to conflate aesthetic insight with moral mastery. Music appreciation, literacy, and ability should never grant feelings of raw entitlement or ethical superiority. Rather, such tools and gifts must complement our sense of responsibility to communities near and far, musical and otherwise. In sum, my teaching philosophy embraces a love for music while recognizing that—as people say regarding any complex relationship—love is not always enough.