Becky Brouwer Piano Studio Philosophy
Music is a beautiful part of our world. In music there is opportunity to connect with something bigger than yourself. To share a gift brings joy to the giver and to the receiver. Learning to play the piano is a way for an individual to create something beautiful that was not there before. This can be a spiritual experience, connecting one with God and with nature. I recognize the tremendous opportunity and responsibility I have in teaching students to develop their potential in developing their gift in music. I take this responsibility very seriously.
Research has shown that musical study before the age of 7 has a significant impact on the development of the corpus callosum which connects the left and right hemisphere of the brain. This can lead to an increased ability in language as well as cognitive skills that will last a lifetime. For this reason, I believe pre-school age is the best time to begin musical training.
I have 3 goals that I strive for when teaching the piano.
Technical Skill: A fine musician has all the technical skills needed to perform a diverse number of pieces from different genres, eras and composers. Healthy technique is developed deliberately through many different avenues, utilizing games on and off the keyboard, including technology; using computers, tablets and smart phones. Traditional work at the piano is a must. I teach sight-reading, technique, theory, transposing, improvising, composing and performance. I believe the whole student’s potential is developed through attention to all of these facets of learning to play the piano. I am not interested in teaching students who do not want to develop all of their abilities. All of my students when trained should be able to sit down and accompany a friend who would like to sing whether their forte is sight reading, or technique or improvising.
Foster a Love of Music: Beautiful music is all around us. I have an eclectic love and appreciation for all music and composers. I want to help foster a love and appreciation for beautiful music in my students. I hope to create an interest and curiosity that will encourage the student to want to learn and ultimately be self-directed to more learning adventures. I work very hard at making lessons fun and interesting. They will not always find practicing fun and exciting. This is a very normal and natural part of learning something new. As a student learns to push through these times of stress and discouragement, they are developing perseverance and grit that will carry into other areas of their life. I will work with each individual student and their parents to find what will motivate them and encourage them, including making the music more accessible. I try to inspire my students and avoid frustration. I feel that I am inspiring because I continually am inspired. Through personal development, I am continually learning more about teaching, developing a student and my own playing ability through professionals in the musical field. I pass on this passion for learning to my students.
Become self-directed: As students become self-directed, they will learn to teach themselves. I teach my students how to practice effectively, and where to go for answers to their questions. I make myself very accessible and will send videos and accept phone calls for explanations about things they are working on. Eventually, I hope they will feel confident enough to teach themselves a beautiful piece they’ve heard somewhere and maybe take my job someday and teach others what they have learned.