CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC
FACULTY

Calvin Wiersma Cal Wiersma.jpg
Violinist

 

Home
Philosophy

 

 

Teachers are students. Teachers must be open to learning, in their performing and extra-teaching careers as well as from their students, in order for them to continue to grow in their profession. Teaching is lifelong work, and like everything else in a career in music, is a constantly evolving experience.

Every student is different and needs to be treated individually. The greatest compliment a violin teacher can receive is that each of his students sounds like the best version of themselves, not like their teacher, or like each other.

Teachers teach students not just in the hour lesson or the chamber music coaching, but in the example they set by the passion and commitment with which they live their musical lives, and the integrity and honesty of their interactions with students and faculty.

Music is a liberal art, not just a profession, and is necessary for and open to all. Even in the context of a conservatory, I believe the primary goal of a music centered education is not employment at the end of the course of study, but immersion in a way of thinking, of working, and of living, that teaches skills necessary for success in any career.

Teachers must empower students with the necessary skills to be able to teach themselves by providing as part of their course of study ways of thinking about music, methods of problem solving, and basic musical and technical ideas that the student can adapt to their own situation and work with throughout their musical life.

Teachers must expect the most from themselves and from their students. The teachers from whom I learned the most are those that demanded more from me than I thought I had and gave more than I thought was possible.