I have been a professional bassoonist for more than twenty years. I love teaching, and have worked with students of all ages and abilities. Every student is a unique case and requires me to come up with new ideas and material. I truly enjoy coming up with methods for teaching each student in their way. I often learn from my students, just as they learn from me.
GERIK’S TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
I aspire to challenge
students to truly engage with the subject matter being taught, and to give them firsthand experience with the glorious intricacies of music. I aspire to reach each student or group of students in the way that best suits them, and allows them to best grasp the subject matter. This is achieved through regular use of combined teaching methods: aural, written, verbal, visual and student involvement, both in and out of the classroom. Most importantly, I strive to show each student how the specific subject matter can serve a practical purpose for them, as well as enrich their lives. Finally, I strive to connect with each and every one of my students, both as a teacher and as a fellow human being.
As a bassoonist I feel myself strongly tied to the “Philadelphia school” of playing. My teachers and their backgrounds were mainly in keeping with this tradition. This connection continued through my association with the Luzerne Music Center, and its close ties with the Philadelphia Orchestra. I always endeavor to make lessons fun and interesting to the student, while also helping each student work to improve in a way that best suits them. My active performing schedule is complementary to my teaching career. While performing, I frequently realize new ideas and solutions for my students and myself. I am constantly seeking new and better ways to learn and teach.
GOALS & OBJECTIVES
- To grow, musically and technically, on a consistent basis through the use of etudes, scale studies, as well as solo and ensemble repertoire.
- Regular use of small stepping goals to aid in obtaining a large goal.
- To make lessons not only useful, but fun and interesting.
- To make the student enjoy and love music, and to appreciate listening to music.
- To use active listening and teach the use of critical listening skills in practice.
- To teach proper, and useful, practice techniques.
TYPICAL LESSON STRUCTURE
Times and specific lesson activities adjusted per student’s ability level and needs. Practice sessions should roughly follow this model as well.
|Long Tones & Scales
|Music [solo or ensemble pieces]
I fully realize that the bassoon isn’t (nor should it be) the first priority in everyone’s life. However, for lessons to be even remotely worth the time and money, YOU HAVE TO PRACTICE. Like any sport, there is simply a minimum of daily physical conditioning required to be able to function at all, much less improve. Beginning students should aim for at least 20-30 minutes a day; for those more advanced, 30 minutes to an hour isn’t so much to ask. Sorry, but the time you spend in band doesn’t count – you may be working your chops, but you can hardly hear yourself, and you certainly can’t stop and examine trouble spots. Look closely at your schedule, and be creative. A few short bursts of practicing are just as good as the single long session you can’t seem to fit in, and they can provide great study breaks between subjects of homework. I find that guilt doesn’t work particularly well for ensuring dedication, and I have no grades nor punishment to hold over anyone’s head – nothing I can do will make up for a student’s lack of internal motivation. But I’m happy to appropriately tailor my approach to structure and reinforce whatever level of commitment is there, working from the premise that a student is taking lessons because s/he actually wants to. I have a number of students who have gone on to college and have ended up with (sometimes substantial) scholarships – both those who have majored in music, as well as those who have not.