AS A TEACHER
Remerciements à Samuel Huguenot et à sa maman
pour m'avoir permis de publier ces photos!
Teaching is a part of my life as a musician.
Born into a family of musicians who taught, I learned at am early age to share my musical knowledge, to offer advice intuitively, and gradually to teach. It came very naturally to me.
My desire to consolidate these skills and become an accomplished professional teacher led me to graduate studies in pedagogy - Master in Pedagogy at the HEM of Geneva. This was in addition to my studies in performance (Master in Interpretation-Concert at the Hem of Geneva).
I learned a lot during my years training in pedagogy. Most notably during a remarkable internship with Alexandre Loeffler in his piano class at the Conservatoire Populaire de Genève, where I am often called for cover teaching.
But, as with most things, I also learned a lot on the job, with my students. By exploring new forms of pedagogy, adapting to each student, to each individual’s goal, and above all by developing rapport, relationship.
I teach student of all levels and all ages, it is never too late to learn to play the piano, as my adult students can testify.
A few words about pedagogy for beginner students.
Learning to play an instrument is learning to be a musician. It’s not just about playing the notes, but how we play them.
This is the difference between a programmed machine and a human being who makes music, this is what creates the emotion we recognise and relate to when we listen or play music.
The process of becoming a musician involves developing a musical understanding, sensitivity to the various possibilities of interpreting. Ultimately it involves learning about oneself.
It is not an easy path and learning to make music is not just a hobby: it requires discipline - to work, to progress, to be patient, organized, demanding, focused. All for the higher purpose of being able to express oneself.
Which means that we can be proud of each and every musical accomplishment It didn’t fall from the sky, it signifies real effort on the part of the student!
The work involved and the good habits created by this process hold real value which extends beyond music and into other areas of life. Particularly for young students, very few activities allow such a large development of these concepts within a child’s life.
None of this detracts from the pleasure of making music, quite the contrary! But beware, unlike other activities, it is a hard earned pleasure. For children, particularly in the early stages, the pleasure of making music comes most often from the result they have obtained as a result of their work. To learn a piece and can play it really well brings huge pleasure. So of course this process cannot be instantaneous, the work is central to the enjoyment of the accomplishment. This is why I talk about the importance of "learning to work" .
This is why I insist upon regular work, right from the very the beginning of musical learning.
For this same reason, I have developed a pedagogy which focuses a lot on improvisation. Whether the student plays solo or with my accompaniment (four hands). This allows students to explore their keyboard and express themselves, right from the first lesson as a beginner.
This enables the aspiring musician to gain confidenceand to explore the sounds and possibilities of the piano with me, playing along with them during these improvisations. It is a work of listening and undeniable creativity. It also offers immediate musical pleasure. This is in contrast to the rigorous work of technical training and musical study, which requires great effort before one is able to play with finesse and to fully enjoy the musical experience.
For advanced students:
It brings me great joy to offer tuition to advanced students, which focus on interpretation. I adapt me to their technical and physical possibilities in order to bring them to give the best of themselves musically while respecting the style and the will of the composer of the works they play.
I also offer support to students seeking help specifically to prepare for an exam, audition or competition.
Being a teacher is an eternal challenge, each student is a unique human being. Just as every student is unique, there is no single method. You have to be passionate about music, but also fascinated by people and the human condition. This is why teaching is so interesting, and so challenging! Whatever the age, personality and purpose of the student, I always do my best to adapt to each person. Learning is student centred and the interpersonal relationship between student and teacher is key, with good communication and great rapport - anything is possible!