Jal Feldman, Piano (Suzuki Academy)
Teaching Artist Statement
I teach music because it is very exciting for me to help children develop the skill and the heart to express themselves through music. Being able to do this was extremely important to me during my own childhood (I cannot imagine what it would have been like to grow up without it). I enjoy guiding others through the rewards and challenges along the path to having the same gift. The development of musical skill requires a combination of great discipline and enormous creativity. I try to foster and encourage both in my students.
I teach at Music Center because it is supportive to this process in so many ways that I could not begin to list them. Music Center provides a collaborative setting with many invaluable opportunities for student and teacher. I try to help my students overcome the barriers and limitations that would prevent all of this from occurring.
I was an independent Suzuki teacher for many years. I utilized teaching spaces in two churches and a music store. I have taught several times at the annual Suzuki Festival for Washington State in Ellensburg. I studied Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology (including Child Development) as well as music during my college years and I use both equally in my teaching. Teaching music to children through the Suzuki Method is 70% about child psychology and 30% about music training when the child is young. As the child gets older, those percentages even out and eventually reverse in most cases. However, knowing how to work effectively with children is an essential part of being a good music teacher.
Because spirituality is an essential part of my life, I feel very fortunate to be able to perform in spiritual settings. I have had a long-term and active support role in two top-quality music programs - at the Center for Spiritual Living and Bet Alef Synagogue in Seattle. I have the opportunity to play almost every style of music in these settings with amazingly gifted singers and musicians from all over the U.S., as well as performing individual solos on a regular basis. I created, organized and was the central performer for a music entertainment service that I called The Jal Feldman Groups which operated for about nine years. I had the good fortune to work with some of the very finest musicians in Seattle during this time. I have also played in musical theater productions - professional and amateur—in San Francisco and Seattle, including support for theater productions at private high schools in Seattle.
Music Center Programs
Suzuki Academy (Piano)
Traditional Music Lessons (Piano)