My Teaching Philosophy Statement
Mona Wilkes, 27 Beechwodd Drive, Peterborough, Ontario [email protected]
Obtaining a musical education, and learning to become a music maker has been the most pleasurable and transformative experience of my life. It has led me to want to share my joy in music with others by becoming a piano teacher.
My goal in my studio is to create a life-long love of music in others which can be manifested in many ways, by nurturing the musical ability which I believe resides in every student. I will do this in a way which is tailored with sensitivity to each student’s unique personality and goals. I believe in compassionate, clear guidance, endless encouragement and patience, and creating the spirit of making music fun for one’s entire life!
To acquire a good springboard for making music in life, I believe it’s important to learn the fundamentals of basic theory, reading notation, and musical expression and artistry. Learning to play the piano is excellent for acquiring these skills, and I believe there are many good early method books to ground both children and adult beginners-- the Fabers’ Piano Adventures series, and for very young students, Irina Gorin’s Tales of a Musical Journey are a few I like.
But beyond the early years of study, there are a myriad of exciting ways a student’s musical interests could evolve--perhaps toward classical, jazz or pop music, improvisation, composition or song writing, or even playing another instrument as I have done in learning to play the trumpet in school bands, and the bass guitar in rock bands as an adult! As a foundation for a student’s ongoing musical development, I think the Royal Conservatory of Music’s graded approach to learning is excellent for building fabulous pianistic skills in a proven way (how ever a student will eventually choose to use them), and so I teach using the RCM books/levels and encourage students to take examinations to showcase our growth together! But I also believe that learning how to play the piano “without written notes in front of you” is very important so I will conscientiously try to build my students’ creativity and aural abilities through ongoing creative assignments; and their improvisational skills through some of the wonderful methods which are available – the Forrest Kinney series of books, Chord Play and Pattern Play are great!
Through my band work, I know firsthand the thrill of performing music with and for other people --- I will encourage my students to become confident and skilled at playing for others through the availability of some group lessons, some informal “evenings/afternoons of music” in my studio, and if the student is willing, entering pieces in our local music festivals.
To really appreciate music, I think it must be studied with an understanding of its place in our cultural history so I will always spend time with my students giving them fun and interesting educational information about their pieces, and music generally in a historical context-- to me going to a concert and having a musical understanding of what I’m listening to is a life enriching skill in its own right! From time to time, concert outings I organize will provide a fun extra-curricular stimulus for both my students and their parents!
Finally, I am a life long student of music, having within the last two years successfully completed my RCM Level 10 examination for Technique/Studies, and my RCM Level 3 Music History examination. In the winter of 2019, I completed the wonderfully informative Royal Conservatory of Music Teaching Elementary Piano Course with the aim of becoming an RCM Certified Teacher. I will always strive to enhance my teaching methods through constant learning and networking with other fine teachers so that I may provide my students with the best knowledge-based, proven approaches that I can find to ensure their success.
- Youth (7-17)
- Adults (18+)
- At own home
- At own studio
- 2017 - Level 10, Tech,Ear,Sight - RCM
- Teaching Elementary Piano, May 14, 2017 - RCM teaching course - 2019