The teaching style and philosophy of an educator is based on personal knowledge and the individual approach taken toward one's own learning. We are all products of the environment that we came from; our home life and school life both play a role in our attitudes about education. Everyone has a unique way of processing and remembering information. The way a teacher delivers instruction, corresponding with their experiences, defines their teaching style and philosophy. We all have ideas of what a good teacher is and what qualifications they must have. Thus, my philosophy is a culmination of my personal experience as an educator, my professional experiences as a musician, and the research that I continue to pursue about jazz and music pedagogy.
Encouraging students to pay attention to the detailed nuances of written and improvised music, as well as music theory are important because those focuses tend to create well-versed musicians. Just as important, educators inspire and create a desire for students to achieve the highest levels in their craft. An educator should be very strategic in the way that they approach the pedagogy of their field; they should be well-versed and should “practice what they preach.” My philosophy is that music educators should hold an elevated level of musicianship and demonstrate various concepts to their students through research, scholarship, composition, and performance. Students should be encouraged to develop their own philosophies through research. There must be a standard set by the educator that is evident and attainable while fostering critical thinking and innovative ideas.
Learner accountability is important because it promotes discipline and time management; both are valuable skills in the professional world. All students should set goals and demonstrate their learning through recital, ensemble performance, and historical and theoretical research. Those expectations give the educator a form in which to assess student progress. It also provides the scholar with a way to use the knowledge and skills being acquired. These elements combined can produce a learning environment in which both the educator and learner flourish.