LESSONS & TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
My aim as a teacher is to create an environment of collaboration and free exploration of knowledge both aesthetic and scientific, so as to encourage students to be independent thinkers and problem solvers through all challenges technical, musical and artistic. I believe that everyone has the right and the potential to participate and excel the in the art of making music, and that each student can strive to achieve excellence and mastery in the art of flute playing. Therefore I am ultimately interested in fostering the curiosity and potential of each student to blossom into the best version of themselves, not only for their own goals, but also for their communities.
CONCEPT BASED LEARNING
My teaching philosophy is grounded on the fundamental tenet that students can learn to become musically and artistically independent through the acquisition of concrete knowledge regarding the nature of the flute and its technique. I use concept based learning to lead my students through this process. In this concept based learning environment, the students learn fundamental principals about the use of the air on the instrument and then get to test, assess and evaluate tangible results with regards to specific aesthetic goals in the music.
METHODOLOGY & TECHNIQUE:
FLOW BASED APPROACH TO FLUTE PLAYING
For the past twenty years of my professional career, I have researched and developed a comprehensive flute methodology, whereby students learn specific techniques about the proper use of the air through a flow based technique. This flow based technique outlines the fundamental truth that the flute, being a low impedance instrument needs to receive consistent and even air flow in order to achieve resonance, proper intonation, wide dynamic range and beautiful phrasing. Students using this technique learn what it takes to develop beautiful, warm sounds, virtuosic techniques and free unrestricted ways of making music applicable to all styles and genres.
Because concept based learning requires thorough and continual assessment of the concepts learned and the integration of said concepts into a usable technique, I require that my students keep the following materials:
1- Lesson Reviews: Student record all private lessons in audio/video format and write weekly lesson reviews. This encourages them to really hear the changes that take place during their lessons, and teaches them how to listen.
2- Practice Journals: Student need to maintain an ongoing practice journal recording their noticing of concepts learned and questions that arise thereby fostering awareness and self agency.
In addition to the personal assessments the students make in their lesson reviews and practice journals, my students are also required participate “Assessment Lessons” once a month. In this assessment lesson, each student teaches a fellow student in the studio the same concepts they are learning in their private lessons. By teaching others what they are learning, the students then learn to internalize key concepts they are striving to master through helping others. They also become aware of their own questions and aspects in their learning that still require attention and understanding.
FUNDAMENTALS OF LEARNING IN MY FLOW BASED APPROACH
1- The flute as a flow based instrument:
Understanding that air flow pertains to consistent amount of air and not air pressure and that when proper airflow is achieved, a resonant, focused sound is achieved.
2- Breath support and how to understand it from a flow based perspective:
In this case, the student learns to become aware of the core musculature in the body and how the core muscles aid in implementing consistent support of air flow in the sound.
3- Body mechanics to properly implement flow based support of the air:
Learning the correct motions in the body to properly support lines and phrases in the music.
4- The role and use of the embouchure in a flow based technique:
Understanding the role of the embouchure as a channel for shaping and aiming the air in order to achieve proper pitch placement as well as broad dynamic changes.
5- The role and use of the tongue in a flow based technique:
Understanding the fundamental role of the tongue in a flow based technique
6- Flow based Phrasing:
Understanding the two fundamental motions: Flow and Release
Understanding articulation from a flow based approach, and the position and movement of the tongue.
REPERTOIRE – GENRE INDEPENDANCE
It is my belief and part of my teaching philosophy that the students need to be well versed in a wide range of pieces and excerpts from the classical repertoire as well as different genres of music and improvisation. I firmly believe that students can achieve fundamental mastery of the instrument and go on to become confident, masterful musicians by encouraging repertoire each student is intrinsically motivated to play, and projects they would like to develop. I also encourage and often require my students to memorize their music so they move away from “reading” the notes and internalize sound and phrasing.
I am dedicated to helping my students improve and have their goals realized. I am encouraged and confident that the tools I have to offer allow me to do this, and students can notice and track real growth in their playing at every level. It is equally important to me to create a supportive, hopeful environment where students aren’t competing amongst themselves, but rather are all striving to achieve excellence and explore their musical potential.
© 2018 Marco Granados. All rights reserved. © The Granados Music Institute, LLC. All rights reserved