I am available to come into your school or organization to teach master classes and workshops and to present lectures and presentations on various artistic and teaching topics. Please find below a description of a workshop I presented on June 8, 2009 at the Minnesota Music Teachers Association Convention. If you are interested in learning more about this and other presentations, or about hiring me to present for your school or organization, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a member of the Minnesota State Arts Board’s Arts in Education Roster of Artists; acceptance onto the roster involves a juried review process based on the candidate’s artistic excellence and teaching ability. To see my profile on the roster, please click here.
A Knife in a Gun Fight: Genre-Crossing as a Teaching Tool
I play classical music, but also jazz and blues. I’m sometimes struck at the lack of technique on the part of flute players in combos, just as I’m sometimes disappointed by a lack of flexibility or style in some classical players. I think both blues and classical musicians can learn from each other, so I teach my students from day one with a combination of traditional book, scale, and solo work and improvisation. Learning improvisation gives them something to say; classical technique gives them the chops with which to say it. Since I’ve started this multifaceted method of teaching my students are more confident, comfortable, and excited about music.
My presentation focuses on describing my approach, including suggestions, for both student and teacher, for easing into improvisation. Simply having a student play just one of his or her scales a day out of time, and rubato, can help introduce improvisation while still emphasizing the rhythmic rigors of classical training. I will also talk about the challenges I’ve faced—and help my students to face—surrounding going back and forth between styles. One reaction I got to showing up for a blues jam in Texas can illustrate the difficulties facing a classical flute player trying to experiment with her instrument. “What’s that?” the man running the jam spat out. “A flute? That’s like bringing a knife into a gun fight.”
I will also briefly demonstrate the aspects of my playing that have arisen from a marriage of different styles and techniques.
A comment from an MMTA member who attended the presentation:
” Jule [sic] was superb! She was well prepared, informative, what she shared was practical, easily applicable, and relevant! I could have listened to her for at least another hour!”