About My Teaching
Teaching is a strong passion of mine! My teaching philosophy is to foster a healthy and rewarding relationship with music, self discipline, personal growth, compassion, family, and community building.
While many of my students are successful in competitions, this is not the goal for every student, nor is it a requirement to compete to be in the studio. The only requirement is the desire to be better tomorrow than you are today! As your teacher, I work with you to build short and long term goals, and then show you how to meet those goals with methodical regular practice and self discipline. I believe in working smarter, not harder, and it all starts with a plan and a little commitment.
As a flute teacher, I am fortunate to spend more years with most students than other teachers in their life. I believe music is a wonderful tool to express our emotions, and many emotions do appear in lessons! Excitement, nerves, pride, embarrassment, disappointment, frustration, relief, joy, and happiness for example. Through the journey as your teacher, I believe it is important to not just play music, but use it as a healthy way to express our emotions (even when the flute is causing said emotions!) It is to no surprise to me, that many of our students show strong growth in expressing their emotions. Music and lessons are a safe space to express ourselves, because as Hans Christian Anderson said, "Where words fail, music speaks."
Music is a gift, and here at my studio, I love to keep giving! I am actively involved in community outreach and nonprofit music work, and love to include students in outreach. Examples are mentoring younger students, performing at senior communities, and performing at hospitals for patients during the holidays.
I am honored to have presented masterclasses at the University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Rollins College, University of South Florida, and have presented workshops at the National Flute Convention, Florida Flute Convention, Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention, University of South Florida Flute Day and the University of North Florida Flute Day among others.
I am available for flute lessons in person in Sewickley, PA or from anywhere via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom*.
*Virtual lessons will require that you have a video connection, as well as a decent microphone (either internal or external). If you have any questions regarding the technical requirements, do not hesitate to ask.
Masterclass / Guest Instructor
I am available to visit your school, University/College, festival or studio to conduct masterclasses, lessons and performances for your students. Alongside general flute topics, specialty topics include:
Channeling Your Inner Diva: How to improve your confidence on stage
Authenticity Speaks: How to create and foster your unique life experiences to enhance and develop a career you are proud of
The Modern Music Entrepreneur: How to turn your music degree into income after graduation
Extended Techniques are Nothing New: How to utilize extended techniques in your practice, teaching, and performance of many periods of music
Contact me to discuss your needs and the appropriate fee.
"Your talk, “Authenticity Speaks: How to create and foster your unique life experiences to enhance and develop a career you are proud of” resonated profoundly with my students, many of whom have already followed up with me about how excited they are to have found in you a mentor and role model for self-care and for expressing themselves!" Dr. Krista Jobson, University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley
"I am terribly sad that this is my last year to have you as a teacher. Not only have you taught me many technical skills in playing the flute, but you have given me new perspectives on many things [in life]." 12th grader
"It's always fun to learn new things and you make it a blast" 11th grader
"Thank you Mr. Irelan for showing me what improv is and how you do it. I find it very fun and it's not as hard as it seems. All of us really appreciate what you have done here to push forward our great program." 10th grader
"We truly appreciate how well you work with [our daughter]. She has never had a meltdown with you, even when she is exhausted and the songs get difficult. Thank you so much!!!! You have a gift." Parent of student
"Thank you for teaching me wonderful music. I'm thankful for having you as my piano teacher." 8 year old
"Mr. Taylor you are the best piano teacher!" 5 year old
"Thank you so much for being our teacher, we are very appreciative of you teaching us and helping us learn. We will always remember your good tricks such as the penny game." 7 and 5 year old siblings