Throughout my student career, I absorbed the arts, and the arts absorbed me. I took dozens of unrequired artistic courses purely to gain their knowledge. These included jazz composition, jazz and advanced music theory, visual arts, literary arts, screenwriting, film, poetry, and more. Alongside a high-proficiency performance-training regimen, time was never, ever taken for granted.
Artistic skills —discipline, communication, cooperation, calculation, outreach, calmness, focus, organization, attention to fine detail, etc. — are applicable to all areas of life. My mentors applied those in their guidance of me. I was so grateful and inspired by their passions as educators, that education became a primary passion of my own.
I am always inspired to guide today's violinists, violists, and composers to become the dynamic, far-reaching, culture-penetrating artists tomorrow needs.
When asked in a televised PBS interview to "describe the best teacher in three words,” I answered, “still a student”. I stand by this one-hundred percent. My mentors led by example, and allowed students to see their learning processes in real time. I observed that they never stopped learning. I observed that they remained humble enough to learn from anyone, anytime, anywhere.
From my mentors, I learned the insatiable persistence to improve, and adopted their uncompromising integrity in the professional world. This model of mentorship formed the motto of my own teaching philosophy— “Teach by example.”