1. What musical qualities do you look for most in potential students?
When listening to prospective students, I am searching for potential. Many students that apply have developed some admirable skills but may be in need of direction and a more thorough approach to basic fundamentals. An attitude of openness, a willingness to try new ideas and a true sense of self-motivation are key elements. To succeed as a music major, a student needs, first and foremost, a good sense of rhythm and pulse. Equally important is a well-developed, centered sound with a natural-sounding vibrato, a reasonably comfortable playing position, good posture, and control of technical and articulation aspects of flute playing.
2. Can non-music majors receive private lessons in your studio?
Depending on my teaching load, non-majors can request lessons but would need to contact me to discuss their background and possibly to audition.
3. Why would you recommend Texas State School of Music as a good place to receive an undergraduate or graduate music degree? In what ways does it stand out from other schools? Texas State prides itself in giving students individual attention. Faculty are supportive of their students through attending their concerts, advising them on all aspects of their education and future plans and by having an open-door policy to be there for the students. In the School of Music, our faculty members have excellent training and are active in their respective fields, performing in area orchestras and pursuing various areas of music research.
4. Can you share a little about your teaching philosophy in regard to music and flute pedagogy?
My teaching philosophy is to search out students who have potential, a true desire to excel, and are self-motivated and disciplined. I encourage all of the flute students to support one another and to share their ideas and thoughts openly.
5. What type performance opportunities are available to flute students at Texas State?
In the School of Music, there are many ensembles in which flute students may participate - Orchestra, three concert bands, flute choir and various multi-cultural ensembles such as Mariachi and Balinese Gamelan. Outside of the university, flute students may audition for various music festivals, masterclasses and competitions for the National Flute Association.
6. Can you share a little about the Texas State Flute Choir? (what kind of repertoire it performs, who is eligible to be in the flute choir, the flute choir performance tours, etc.)
The Texas State Flute Choir is required of undergraduate flute majors usually until their senior year at which time it is optional but highly recommended. Music minors or non-majors are welcome to participate but must audition. We perform a variety of pieces, both original and transcriptions, ranging from Baroque to current repertoire. Duets, trios and quartets are performed as well. Playing concerts at various high schools is one of our performing outlets and we try to get off campus once a year depending on scheduling.
7. What do students gain from being in smaller chamber ensembles offered at Texas State, like flute choir?
The benefits of participation in small chamber groups are numerous. Besides providing yet another performance outlet, flute choir and chamber music develops a true sense of musical independence, reinforces good ensemble skills of intonation, balance and rhythmic security and helps students learn how to work together with their colleagues in attaining a high level of performance, without the assistance of a conductor in the case of chamber ensembles.