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© 2018 by Mark Cramer

          As an educator, I believe one mantra holds true to every individual: “we are students for life.” I find it is essential to frequently assess and evaluate my impact as a mentor as well as continually educate myself as a pedagogue and performer in order to better serve the demands of my students and to stay current in the constantly changing musical world. My teaching philosophy has advanced not only from 15 years of teaching experience, but also from years of being a student.

 

          As an educator, there are three main goals I want to achieve:

 

  • Assist the student in becoming more refined in their craft. I employ a combination of standard, historical, and modern views of pedagogical approach in order for my students to gain the most tailored, comprehensive, and encouraging environment for growth. My objective is to influence an in-depth working knowledge of the clarinet. This includes working with the student to develop a well-balanced clarinet sound, accompanied by fluid technique and natural musicality.

 

  • Instill a strong work ethic that can be applied to endeavors other than music. I strive to provide a student-centered education that promotes a high-level of professional development and to lead students toward making meaningful contributions to the world as performers, future pedagogues, and citizens. Not all people who get a degree(s) in music will necessarily pursue a career in music, and many talented individuals will continue on different paths to live successful careers in other arenas.  Therefore, it is my hope that my teaching methods and support in preparation can assist students to accomplish not only detailed musical ideas, but also important life skills.   

 

  • Guide students toward developing their own personal emotional and artistic authenticity in music. We are simply an escort toward helping our pupils become refined, individual artists. I encourage my students to take musical risks and experiment with emotional and creative expression, in order to help them develop their own artistic decisions. 

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          As a mentor and educator, I have dreams of having an impact on the world. I believe, no matter how small my thumbprint may be, I do this. I have been fortunate enough to have some incredible teachers. While their impact on the world may not necessarily be known by the mainstream population, I can say with absolute certainty that my teachers have changed my world.  My teachers have shaped me into who I am today. I will feel I have succeeded as a teacher if I have this same impact on my students.

Philosophy.