2. Some example philosophies

We asked teachers what philosophy dominates their teaching, where did this philosophy come from and how do we, as teachers, make sure we are always teaching by this philosophy.

"My philosophy is to enable pupils to engage with music for their whole lives. I grew up with the Suzuki method of inclusion through music and I have seen the power of music and its transformative effects through my professional playing, teaching and outreach work. I aim to constantly check that I am doing the best for individual string players and groups by weighting my responses and initiatives with a long-term view in mind while checking frequently that the learners are engaged, happy and clear."

"I am not sure I have a philosophy. I respond to the person who I am teaching - everyone is different and brings different issues. I keep learning myself - reading books, attending conferences and workshops and of course, I am also influenced by my own teachers."

"I try to be direct, clear and yet open to different strategies and approaches. We all learn differently and respond better to subtle behaviours; perhaps some prefer a less intensive, more easy-going pace, while others crave measurable success and are more end-game driven. Only your pupils can say whether you are indeed successful or consistent - but I believe that both the pupil and teacher need to be flexible if what is communicated is to be of lasting value."

"I hope that music-making for life lies at the heart of my teaching, I can’t think of anything more important I could give my students. To pursue a love for music is a lifelong journey of creativity and skill-development and offers a deep sense of personal fulfilment. I have been fortunate to have had a number of teachers with differing styles myself, and to have learned something from each of them; this philosophy of music first is definitely shared with my most influential mentors. My family along with my background as a scout taught me that the more you put in, the more you get out, and I’ve certainly found this for myself and seen it reflected in my own pupils too. I don’t know if I consistently teach by these ideas, but I know that – however long a lesson is – the time always passes by quickly, for both pupil and teacher!"