Listen, Educate, Entertain, Inspire.
I will start saying that teaching music is not a mere handover of knowledge: after all, why you would ever need a teacher when you can read books, learn from YouTube videos and even use free resources on the web? Simply because learning to play an instrument is so much more than that, and a good teacher can make all the difference to create a knowledgeable and passionate musician.
Listen, educate, entertain, inspire: this is my teaching formula.
Listen the student needs, music skills and areas of improvement. Having been a student of two great teachers, I know how essential is to have a music mentor that can follow his students personally step by step, educating, entertaining and inspiring.
As a personal music teacher, I aim to be different from the packaged and recorded courses found online these days: by experience I can say that every student has a different music path, and my commitment as a teacher is to work with every student to reach his specific music goals. The same instructional video might not be as useful for different students…
Educate by passing on the technique and theory required to form the next generation of bass players. In fact, playing an instrument is a multi-faceted activity involving at the same time:
your muscles: practicing technique on your given instrument is very beneficial to build “muscle memory”, provided that you’re doing the right way and under the supervision of a teacher;
your rational brain, learning music styles, repertoire, music theory and history.
My goal as an educator is to pass on the music knowledge from a wider perspective, involving the electric bass technique, repertoire, music styles, theory and history.
Last but not least a special mention about the emotional brain: if it’s true that every musician needs strong foundations, it must be noted that the emotional brain is where the magic happens, in a process that is a mix between our knowledge and emotions.
I’ve always been firmly convinced that, just like there’s no human being without feelings and emotions, so every music student can reach that peak and show his emotions through a music instrument, provided that his muscle memory and rational brain are very well trained. From another perspective, I like to say that a student’s focus leans more towards his rational brain at first, being focused on muscle movements, chord progressions and so on, but with practice and experience those processes become automatic, and the emotional brain will take over the rational side.
My commitment as a teacher is, first of all, to train the students’ rational side of the brain, encouraging a daily practice on different subjects and recognizing strengths and areas of improvement: all this will help the student to become a knowledgeable musician, playing with confidence and passion. In this regard, remember that “to play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable” - Ludwig Van Beethoven -.
To entertain means exactly that: you can’t learn if you’re not having fun in the process of learning. Playing music is having fun, and without fun there’s no reason to learn how to play an instrument. The learning process is never-ending, something like a long winding road without a final destination, and my commitment is to show students how to enjoy the journey and have fun even while practicing seemingly boring exercises.
Remember that if you’re having fun, you are not just learning faster and more efficiently, but also building up the passion and curiosity necessary to become a better musician day after day.
Last but not least inspire: since the learning process is like a never-ending path, my ultimate goal as an educator is to urge my students to find their own way and progress autonomously, practicing and creating their own exercises routine, looking for new artists, new music styles and finally creating their own music.
Looking at the big picture, every subject of my course contributes to make you a better musician: when you will be able to find your own path as a musician, aware that learning is never-ending, you won’t need me anymore and I will have succeeded as a music educator.