I'm reading a dissertation about Charlie Banacos' pedagogy of jazz. I'll probably have some more to say about it in a later post. But I felt an immediate need to share what he said when grilled about his 'philosophy of education':
"There is no method! Upon hearing each student, I immediately have a method that will work for that particular student and no other. But there are certain techniques of musical composition that all modern musicians need to know and be able to use, either in pre- composed settings or spontaneously. I might even use some written exercises with more than one student, but explain them in a totally different way for each student. This is completely spontaneous and based on intuition, which to me seems like a fusion of knowledge and love and devotion to each student’s needs at that particular time."
What a way to put it!!
I've always been fascinated with philosophy of education- both the subject as a whole and 'designing my own'. Throughout this fascination I've read a lot of philosophies and in comparison to this one, they all seem way off. They sound a bit too much like fishing. Students aren't fish. That's an enormous problem in education.
Master teachers don't cast lines into a lake and sit ashore reading paperback horror novels and eating egg salad sandwiches as they wait for bites. They go to students individually. They nurture and sustain individual relationships with each and every student through trust and mutual respect. There isn't a general method outside of this that sums it all up in a neat and tidy little package. We can describe our high standards, our relevance and our abilities but it's all nonsense if we aren't looking at our classes through the eyes of each student.