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How We Teach and the "WSM Difference"

Our philosophy is that whether a student's interest in music is simply recreational, somewhat more serious, or intensely focused towards a career in music, all students deserve to have the best possible musical learning experience, no matter what their goals.

They deserve instructors who know not only the “how”, but also the “why”, instructors who have directly experienced both the joys and the challenges of a life in music.

WSM instructors are passionate about music, our instruments, learning and teaching! Having already achieved success in a competitive field, we teach because we truly want—and love—to do so. We call this the "WSM Difference," and it's at the heart of our hiring policy.

We know, from our own experience, the issues that parents encounter while supporting their children’s musical learning. We understand what it takes to help a child grow in self-confidence, establish a practice routine, develop self-discipline and, above all, to discover and enjoy his or her own unique musical voice. Having traveled that road ourselves, we feel privileged to guide others along on their own musical journey.

How We Put That Difference into Action

These are the principles which guide us as we nurture our students:

  • Good psychology is 75% of teaching anything!

    We create a positive, supportive and encouraging atmosphere, so students feel safe and know they can experiment, make mistakes and learn. We work hard at WSM, but we laugh a lot too.

  • Every student has different strengths and a unique learning profile.

    We teach to each individual’s strengths, but we also introduce and encourage other modes of learning. For example, we might ask visual-dominant learners to close their eyes and focus on what they’re hearing, or on how their muscles feel. Students discover a range of tools to use in their practice at home – and in their other learning.

  • Complex tasks are broken down into bite-sized pieces.

    We enable students to feel confident and in control of their learning by helping them to achieve mastery one building block at a time. We always remember that what’s easy for us is new, unfamiliar and possibly awkward to our students.

  • Musical development goes hand in hand with technical development.

    The real purpose of studying and mastering an instrument is citizenship in the world of music – discovering a personal response to the music, and the voice and the confidence to share it freely with others.

  • Learning a musical instrument requires—and develops—self-discipline, dedication and determination.

    This is by far the greatest gift of music study! It will have a positive impact on every area of the student’s life, and is the source of true self-esteem.

  • Instrument lessons are not just about learning to play the instrument!

    Through studying an instrument you will discover the beauty of music, the joy of mastering unfamiliar skills, and the excitement of seeing your world expand in many different ways!

Come and find out for yourself at Wayland School of Music! Contact us to arrange a “try-out” lesson.

Violin Teacher

“Sharon structures lessons in a way that makes them fun for students, while still focusing both on technique and musicality. Our son has developed tremendously under her guidance.”

– parent of a high schooler

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