Time is flying! I can’t believe it’s week 8 of term and the not-so-distant sound of jingle bells is ringing in my ears. (A welcome sound!)
The other day I was listening to a podcast by Deliciously Ella. It featured a business owner who stressed how important it is to be clear about what your brand is and what it’s not. I took a few moments to think about the brand I have tried to create here at Cork Music Collective.
What my ‘brand’ IS:
To me, music is for life. It’s something to look forward to every day, a way of expressing yourself, relaxing, or having fun! I focus on teaching my students to enjoy the process of learning. Where they are right now is exactly where they should be, and we will build on that together. It’s not a race, there is no finish-line. If you enjoy music, you will continue to grow and change as a musician throughout life.
I believe in fostering joy, curiosity and love of music. I believe in celebrating the music you can make, and sharing it.
What my ‘brand’ is NOT:
Looking around, I see a lot of music academies and teachers whose sole purpose seems to be to gain the most exposure, the loudest voices, the best social media presence. When you see their pupils singing or playing happily, it all looks wonderful, but what about the students who aren’t loud or confident performers? Where is the place for them to LEARN and GROW?
My teaching is not about having the loudest voice or prioritising students with the flashiest act.
Another thing I see often is the style of teaching which is geared towards grade exams. The idea being to race younger students through Grades 1-8 by the time they leave school. How many adults do you know who studied and instrument in their childhood, but gave it up because the pressure was too much, or they didn’t enjoy playing? If you’re like me, the answer is many.
My teaching is not about pushing students through exams they are not ready for, or taking shortcuts so that they feel incompetent.
This has been my philosophy from day one, and it will continue to be throughout the years.