I am an interpretive instructor, both by profession and by disposition, right down at the core.  (Really, it infuses the entire way I look at the world.)  Great, right?  So how is it you, as a prospective student, would know that I am a qualified instructor?

You will find that I do not lean on a stack of credentials to establish my competency, as is somewhat customary practice.  Is that distinction meaningful?  Well, maybe:  in one sense, certificates, diplomas, credentials, etc., are certainly a useful proof of at least some sort of accomplishment.

But they are no guarantee of excellence. Nor of an understanding of context, nor of adaptation and flexibility, nor of depth of understanding…and certainly not of teaching ability. And all these things mean different things to different people anyway.  If you stop and think about it, there are some things which simply cannot be evaluated in the right context, except by you.

I’m a strong believer that you are always your own best teacher, and that any instructor you work with is simply an assistant to your self-directed learning.  After all, only you know, really, what you intend to accomplish or learn.  (This is true, by the way, even if you “don’t know” what you wish to accomplish or learn;  you still need to be able to recognize when something new you learn does resonate with you!)

That goes for just about any topic, but when it comes to something as intensely personal as music, it would seem even more essential to be actively in charge of directing your own learning–and of evaluating everything you learn with a critical eye.  We live in an age in which there is both an abundance of information, and, paradoxically, a dearth of good information.  It doesn’t help that the same is true of criticism and analysis:  there is outstanding stuff out there, in terms of evaluation, review, and recommendation, but you’ll only find it by chance–or if you, yourself, know how to wade through the dreck.

In the end, you are probably kidding yourself if you do not see the need to be your own analyst and evaluator–at least for the things that really matter.  (The big upshot of that is that becoming more engaged with your own life nearly always makes people happier.)

So, does all this then mean I am therefore the right instructor (or facilitator, of your self- directed learning) for you?  Well, if you’ve been catching my drift thus far, you probably already know the answer:  you’ll need to decide that for yourself!

Meet with me once, and you will pretty quickly be able to figure out the things you really need to know:  Do I have any idea what I’m talking about?  Do I understand what it is that you want to do, and am I willing to help you get there?  Do you find my style compatible with what you want?  For my part, I will simply put myself out there, and you can see for yourself if the fit is right.

I suspect you’ll know quickly enough, and then we can proceed–either way–jointly, and with confidence.