Steve's Teaching Philosophy

Steve is an experienced and beloved teacher for all levels of dulcimer players. Having taught both privately and at dulcimer festivals from coast to coast for 20 years, he is recognized both for his musical artistry and his sensitive, comprehensive approach to teaching music. His understanding of music and intuitive sense of the process of learning, combined with his master's degree in music therapy and his performing and recording experience, all influence his unique and sensitive musical perspective.

Music learning can be an exciting and fulfilling quest leading to new places, musically, intellectually, spiritually, and socially. Music is one of the ways in to see yourself clearly and share your innermost self with others. Everyone comes to the hammered dulcimer with different strengths and weaknesses, different histories and different goals. Learning to develop fluency in music is a fascinating and challenging journey that should be filled with a healthy mixture of hard work, discipline, setting and meeting realistic goals, and lots of laughter.

The student really has the hard job, the job of practicing throughout his or her life and of his or her learning, but the teacher has the ultimate responsibility. If the student is not successful, it's the teacher's work to find creative ways for her or him to achieve musical goals. The teacher should also guide the student in setting realistic goals along with finding ways for the student to successfully meet those goals.

"As a teacher, it's my job to offer students ways in which they can incorporate helpful ideas into their own practice and music," Steve says. "I'm much more interested in students feeling good about what they do rather than in anyone having a perfect performance."

"I strive to help my students learn to play as musically and expressively as possible, and to reach deeper levels of understanding; to be musicians, not just dulcimer players," he says. "My goal is to offer students effective and practical ways to be challenged to learn new techniques and forms, to grow as musicians, to become independent, to overcome any blocks and obstacles that might be in their way, and to find ways to achieve fulfillment through music."

If you are interested in taking lessons with Steve, go to Private Lessons or the Long-Distance-Learning for more information.

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