Music teachers have a unique opportunity to engage one-on-one with students on a regular basis. This provides fundamental intellectual and philosophical support to the student, enabling them to explore their potential and develop their musical skills for applications within music and beyond. Of particular importance is the need to foster problem solving and communication skills, and a developing ability to work independently and as part of a team. Employers value self-discipline, incremental goal setting, regular practice and excellent communication skills, all of which are inherently fostered through music programs. Isabella aims to develop these skills in all her students from the ground up - students guide their learning programs with goals and ideas, and Isabella shapes a curriculum to suit their needs.
While training in the Dalcroze approach Isabella embraces the "experience before explanation" philosophy, guiding her students to experiment, improvise and discover musical concepts through curated activities. With individual lessons, Isabella strives to provide her students with tools necessary for finding solutions during practice time. These include self assessment and reflection, listening and aural skills, music theory, time management and motivation strategies. Often these skills are developed through student-led exploration of pieces, technical exercises, scales, chamber music, exam and audition repertoire, and an agreement between the teacher, student and parent on appropriate milestones and practice commitments. Duets and chamber music form a central part of the curriculum to develop aural awareness, musical communication skills and team work.
Isabella's students participate in weekly lessons, theory classes, and special workshops involving professionals from the field. At the end of each term, all students participate in a concert that includes solo performances, small ensembles (organised by age group, including 3-5 year olds, 6-10 year olds, 11-15 year olds and 16+), and a full cello orchestra. Students have described these experiences as being exciting, challenging, fun, and a catalyst for inspiration and motivation.
For those seeking a new hobby, the cello is an expressive instrument with a breadth of repertoire suiting all musical styles. It is easy to get started and the growing network of adult beginners in Brisbane is a wonderful community to be a part of. Once a month the adult cellists learning with Isabella get together to play their favourite pieces and share their cello stories over a cup of tea.
Music is about the process of creating something, working towards a larger goal with daily focus and hard work, and most of all sharing these experiences with one another. This is the foundation of Isabella's cello studio.
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