Music Lessons with Dr. Lawson
Student Based Goals
For private lessons I start with the students’ goals. From there we work on establishing a path to reach that goal or set of goals. While music lessons always involve playing music, my students also learn many extra-musical lessons, such as self-discipline, perseverance, independence, and confidence. Music students tend to be better students in every area, and are frequently leaders among their peers.
I use a mixture of instructional technique books, materials and techniques that I have developed over the years, as well as solo repertoire selected with the student to build fundamental skills such as tone, technique, and articulation. This puts a focus on the music the student wants to play while learning more about music in general so the student can learn new music faster in the future. Suggested materials can be found here.
Topics Covered in Lessons
Among the topics we cover are: sight reading, theory, ear training, professionalism, and goal setting. Most students like to focus on just a few areas. I strive to teach my students to use their bodies mindfully, adjusting posture and hand position to avoid injury and strain. I do this because I find that students who have a strong, healthy basis in fundamentals are better able to assert themselves artistically, and that must always be the final goal.
My students regularly participate in Tennessee All-State and Mid-State bands and orchestras, the Ethos wind ensemble, and other area honor bands. They compete on local, regional and national levels, and they perform frequently. They win scholarships, they work hard, they excel, and they amaze me daily with their dedication. However, let me make it clear that I am interested in hard-working, dedicated students, regardless of whether they ever enter or win a single competition.
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