"The arts aren't just important because they improve math scores; they're important because they speak to parts of children's beings which are otherwise untouched." - Sir Ken Robinson
Student Focused and Adaptable
Ben's teaching style is student-focused and malleable. It was created by a firm belief that there is no one set of books, exercises, or long-term plan that is right for everyone. Whether you want to be the next great master on the instrument, or just want to enjoy a new hobby, your goals will be different and a different teaching style and plan is needed to most effectively reach your goal. In many music studios across the world a 'successful' student is the one who can play the best relative to those around them, but true success is not so easily defined. A teacher who's ready to take on all versions of success is not only great for you individually, but for music culture as a whole.
Efficiency and Effectiveness
These two terms sum up all great teaching styles in any discipline. Being able to get someone to their goal in the quickest time possible with the least amount of effort is the true measure of teacher success. Ben's experience on many instruments and in many genres has helped him identify some of the best techniques for practice and sharing information. Whether that's through technology, pedagogy, experimentation or understanding, Ben works everyday to make learning music easier for all of his students.
Ideas and Inspiration
While having a specialty for improvisation does help new ideas flow, Ben also takes a lot of inspiration from the educational and scientific communities. Many great scientists such as Albert Einstein have advocated the benefits of music, but Ben believes that musicians can learn a lot from other disciplines as well. As a result, he always attempts to absorb information from the non-musical world to apply to his teaching style. A great example of this is the book 'The Game of School' which talks about how kids are being rewarded for short-term memorization over long-term learning in schools. The three learning modalities of Walter Burke Barbe also discuss differences in student learning and how to best teach each of them. Below are a few videos that have inspired Ben's teaching style over the last few years. You can learn a lot about Ben's viewpoints and ideas from any of them.