Principles of Pedagogy and Philosophy

  • Very simply, my job is to teach the students in the way that they learn most effectively​This means applying a variety of different teaching strategies in each lesson and understanding clearly the goals of each student while exposing them to standard methods and repertoire. 

  • As a professor I teach students according woodwind department and degree requirement guidelines with an eye toward graduation and the student's eventual career goals or interests. At the high school and middle school levels, I teach the most highly motivated students primarily through school band programs to help them flourish in their school music program, achieve any additional goals outside of band that they have set, and learn to love music through performance on the clarinet. 

  • I am often asked - do I teach HS and MS students? Absolutely, and I love it! I love sharing the joy of a beginning clarinetist as well as the hard work preparing to reach goals in high school, the college scholarship and major audition process, as well as working with budding music educators, performers, scholars, businesspeople, and arts advocates at the college level. I also think my teaching benefits from working with students at every level. 

  • How do you start a younger student? In consultation with the student, parents, and band director after a few lessons in which I can get a feel for the student's natural learning modalities, I design a long -term plan for success and instruction geared toward using the band program's requirements in tandem with the student's goals with input from the people who know the student best - parents and director - to guide my instruction and weekly assignments to fulfill that goal. 

  • How do you begin working with a high school student? First we figure out the student's long term and short term goals and aspirations regarding clarinet.

    • Are they hoping to make the Region or All-State Band?

    • Are they planning to major in music at college?

    • Are they planning to audition for a music scholarship at college?

    • Are they hoping to improve for band to make it more fun?

    • Are they just hoping to pick up some pointers?

  • How do you begin working with a college student? First we figure out the student's short and long term goals in college as well as post-graduation goals and then begin to form a plan. All of the questions below are important to understanding where a student is coming from and where they want to go so that I can figure out and help guide them on the points in between. 

    • What are the strongest areas of your clarinet playing and your musicianship? What needs work?​ (then we do the technique survey)

    • Are you working toward passing upper barrier exams (freshman and sophomores)?

    • Are you working toward a junior, senior, or elective recital (juniors and seniors)?

    • What ensemble placement are you working toward and why?

    • What solo repertoire have you worked on and what are three dream pieces? (then we do a survey of all solos worked on)

    • What do you plan to do when you graduate - what is the dream job? Band director, band musician, orchestral musician, music business, music administration, developing and giving in an arts organization, establishing a 501c3 organization?

    • Are you planning to go to graduate school, what for, and why?

  • Once we have discussed goals, students take a survey that addresses what method books, etudes, repertoire, and excerpts they have studied as well as what they feel the weaknesses in their current musical abilities are. A specific map for each semester for high school and for the year and the degree for college students is established and checked in on during each lesson. 

  • Please email me for additional details and with any questions that you may have. 

© 2022 by Vanessa Davis, Clarinetist & Instructor

  • Facebook Black Square
  • Twitter Black Square
  • LinkedIn Black Square
  • Google+ Black Square
  • Instagram Black Square
  • SoundCloud Black Square