Thanks for considering me for lessons for you or your child. I’m confident I can provide the highest-quality instruction available in the Brooklyn area outright. Before reaching out, please take a moment to read the information below. Before starting lessons, I’d appreciate that you briefly introduce the idea of self-directed learning to your student. I’d also recommend, in preparing for long-term growth, that you give your student a quick, non-judgmental survey of the different genres that I teach.
Self-directed learners thrive.
Self-directed learning — i.e. when the teacher’s role is to coach learners in independent pursuit of goals — brings powerful benefits. First, young and adult learners both make greater gains in the target skill, thanks to more purposeful use of practice time. But more broadly, they also gain a sense of control and purpose that is powerfully correlated to improved academic performance and self-esteem and lowered anxiety across all areas of life. It’s as simple as this: a self-directed and joyful hobby brings you or your student real rewards in your practice and in your daily experience.
How we make it happen
Too many teachers rush to achieve results by focusing all their directives on shifting playing. To foster independence, it’s important instead to coach each phase of the learning cycle:
Students make enormous gains when they are coached in ideating their goals and reflecting on their current playing. These skills change home practice from an unreliable activity (will I be able to execute teacher’s advice) to a reliably self-rewarding one (I set my own goals and approaches based on my in-lesson coaching). Importantly, lessons are also a time to make connections between this practice and the life-long learning process during transitions between schools, into college, and beyond.
Threads: classical repertoire, folk tunes, and technique
To support this broader philosophy, the gifted teacher’s role is to accompany students through concrete productive cases as they build experience as independent learners. Here are a few points on the threads that my students pursue:
It’s important that independent learners cycle back through these points often. Returning to prior concepts deepens our learning, but even more important, it is truly the moment of emergent independence when learners apply old strategies to new material or/and approach old material with new strategies. That’s when you know your student is a lifelong learner.
It’s beyond important to me to establish a communicative connection with each student. I was a very shy violin student, and I value my ability to connect with kids with reservations. Additionally, though, the most important strength in my current day-teaching career is my strong relationship whose students diverse needs express themselves through “disruptive” or loud behavior. I see violin study as a place for students to thrive and to draw strength, confidence, and a powerful self-image in their emotional and academic trajectory.
- BA, Bard College, 2011; Fulbright Scholar, Senegal, 2013-14.
- M.S., Adolescent Education. St. John’s University, 2017.
- NYS professional teaching certification, 7-12th grade.
- NYC Department of Education, 2015-17; Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael, 2017-present.
- Private lessons, 2017-present.
I currently teach at home in Prospect Heights and travel to in-home lessons in the local area. Please reach out at 802.753.6306, or m(period)andrews(period)christian(at)gmail(dotcom).