About Chris Sexton
Teaching Philosophy

Teaching Philosophy


The success of a student depends on the following criteria:

  1. a teacher’s ability to adapt to each student’s needs
  2. reasonable expectations of the lessons from both student and teacher
  3. the ability for student and teacher to adapt to new ideas
  4. technique standards that avoid injury


It should be the goal of every teacher to not only teach relevant material, but to keep the student’s interest.  Relevant teaching material does not have to be boring; it can be fun and engaging if presented properly, and there will always be an available explanation as to what each piece of study has to offer a student.


Teachers and students ought to agree to what purpose the lessons will serve from the onset.  Students should know their schedules and recognize that learning an instrument takes time and commitment.  The expectations of both student and teacher should take any time constraints and other obligations into account when considering the goals to be achieved and the time it will take to achieve them.


Students should be ready to learn anew!  Whether as a novice or an advanced player, no one knows everything – not even the teacher.  Students are welcome to their opinions; however, it is the purpose of lessons to open up the possibilities of new techniques that may help improve technical and musical abilities.  Lessons are also the opportunity to share information as a two-way exchange; a good teacher is also a good student willing to take in new approaches to the instrument.  After all, studying an instrument is an ongoing quest.


Playing a musical instrument is a physical activity.  It is important for a student to learn how to play without the potential for future injury.  Accordingly, a student must recognize the inherent worth of good playing habits that help keep muscles, tendons, and joints relatively free from tension.  A player with a relaxed technique plays with more energy and endurance and will enjoy playing for many years to come.  It’ll be more fun for you, too!  Nervousness makes us tense, too, so there will also be some discussion of how to alleviate things like “stage fright” and other anxieties that are common to musicians and performers.


For more specific questions, or anything I may not have covered, please ask!

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