About Music Workshop Direct
Our Philosophy of Education
My exposure to incredible Master teachers and musicians over the last 13 years (bio below) has given me some unique insights into how truly masterful non-Western teachers successfully inspire students through music-making, modelling, demonstrating, musical support and friendly coaching as opposed to non-musical modes such as lecturing, robotic exercises and talk-based explanations. Not that we ignore the explanatory side (great teachers are capable of great explanations) but we strive to ground our lessons in actual music-making. We would prefer that our students can play the answers to questions like: what is a scale? what is a mode? what is a seventh chord? what is a syncopation or a polyrhythm? – rather than just knowing facts without being able to musically express the concept.
School Director – Music Workshop
What Makes us Different?
A unique emphasis on Rhythm as the first, essential cornerstone in developing a musical mind. Rhythm instruments like hand drums, stick drums, marimbas and hand percussion are available to every teacher regardless of instrument to add layers, to separate rhythmic challenges from melodic and harmonic ones, to add exciting musical layers and coordination challenges and to keep the sounds interesting and to help assess and then sequentially challenge the body, ear and brain.
An emphasis on facilitating music-making to the best of your ability with your teachers help. We believe this should outweigh other strategies until a foundation of playing skills are in place. Thankfully this is also the fastest way to learn to play well and the most encouraging! Nothing succeeds like success! Yes a well-rounded education includes reading, writing and theory. We certainly provide that as well. But during the first couple of years while student’s are testing and deciding if this might be a part of their lives we emphasize developing the musical mind with; musical pattern recognition (playing music!), progressive coordination and memory challenges (well chosen music and instrumental challenges) and ensemble playing with your teacher (a musical mind is adept at playing and at the same time blending, adjusting and modifying).
Having said that, if you are a student who can already play but wishes to now master theory or reading or specific techniques we do customize every curriculum to the individual student. You are not required to only learn from certain method books etc… We want to satisfy your needs and we will respond to your goals and strengths. This is not a pre-fabricated, one-size-fits-all approach. Our teachers use their own creativity to match musical material and challenges to your development and goals.
An optional (but highly recommended) year end recital is included for all students to encourage the performance, appreciation and feedback processes that build a sense of accomplishment, confidence and a growing sense of commitment to music.
Compared to other teachers we think you will find that at Music Workshop you spend more time:
1) Actually playing, 2) sounding your best, 3) feeling successful, 4) achieving specific goals on a regular basis.
In order to achieve this we also work with our teachers to continually develop more of a friendly, coach and mentor style of inspiring and leading by example. Experienced teachers set in old-fashioned ways of using drills instead of music, pure theory instead of musical examples or extended discussion at the expense of music-making are not hired.
In assembling the education team at Music Workshop I am thrilled to have joined forces with a group of exceptional and like-minded teachers. They are all inspiring, highly qualified, experienced musicians with impressive academic and performing credentials and great people and teaching skills. Our teachers are always looking to improve. They were (and are) exceptional students before coming to teaching and they can help you to enjoy the process of making music, understanding music and achieving your success.
Come find out for yourself! We would love to provide a musical education for you or your family!