I first learned about Cornelia (Corky) Watkins through my friend Jeremy Little. Jeremy and I used to teach together in Illinois. He is a proponent of a style of music teaching called Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (CMP).
Teaching music through this model is interesting. CMP teaches the complete musician. The intent is to provide music students with deeper understanding and more meaningful experiences with the music they play.
I went to a workshop on CMP. It was cool. I learned a lot. Here’s a YouTube video with my friend Jeremy that gives a brief CMP overview.
But most of what we talked about revolved around teaching in a classroom. Could this be applied to a private lesson setting? How would that work?
That’s when Jeremy told me to get in touch with Corky.
Corky is a pro at this. She served as the national chairperson of American String Teacher Association’s Committee on Studio Instruction, and also served for six years as the Private Teacher Representative on the board of TexASTA.
So I emailed her. We set up a time to talk. I read her book Rosindust. It was great!
Here’s the thing that I was interested in…
Most of the young people that I teach don’t want a career in music. That’s a good thing! I want people to have amazing experiences with music while they’re young and continue to have it be a meaningful part of their life when they’re older.
The point isn’t to create a bunch of performance majors. The point is to bring the gift of music into these young people’s lives.
Are we doing these young people a disservice by focusing only on technique and the music on the stand? How do we teach beyond that without turning the private lesson into a music appreciation class?
That’s what Corky and I dig into!
Learn more about my coverage of music teaching at contrabassconversations.com/teaching.
Links to check out:
- Corky’s Rice University page
- Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (main page)
- Rosindust: Teaching, Learning and Life from a Cellist’s Perspective by Cornelia Watkins
- From the Stage to the Studio: How Fine Musicians Become Great Teachers – co-authored by Cornelia
- Shaping Sound Musicians by Patricia O’ Toole – the foundational resource for CMP
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