Philosophy of Teaching

My primary goal in teaching my students is to give them all the tools they will need to be able to enjoy and make music for a lifetime. In order to do that, I incorporate all the important aspects of learning music into the piano lesson, including learning to read music fluently, understanding rhythm, playing with expression, and theory. 

 

All of these aspects of musicianship need to rest on a solid foundation of good technique: how to use our body from our feet to our fingertips to create the sounds we want from the piano. Without technique, we may be able to play the notes on the page, but we will be lacking the main component that allows us to create music that has depth of emotion and power. That is why technique is an important part of every lesson. 

 

Just a few words about practice. Learning other activities besides piano may require merely showing up to a class, participating, and then going home until the next class. With piano, the initial instruction happens at the lesson but then it needs to be followed up with consistent focused practice at home. The amount of practice and how the student practices will ultimately determine the kind of progress that is made. That is why I devote time during lessons to teach students how to practice effectively. 

 

Throughout my 30+ years of teaching, I have considered it vital to be committed to ongoing professional development. This includes attending the Annual Conference of the Alberta Piano Teachers Association, numerous workshops, and, in 2016 and 2018, participating in a three day conference in Ohio to learn an innovative method to teach beginners called "Tales of a Musical Journey”.  You can learn more about “Tales” at www.irinagorin.com

 

Most importantly, I am interested in being a positive influence in my students’ lives. I seek to accomplish this through genuine interest in them as people, building their self confidence through positive feedback, encouraging them to reach their full potential.