"The waging of peace is the hardest form of leadership"—Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain

Home Celia Rosenberger's Music Studio

My Philosophy of Music Education


Celia Rosenberger

Music Education of Children

It is my observation that everyone, given normal hearing and intelligence, is capable of learning to make music. Working with 2-year-olds as a Kindermusik teacher showed me that learning music is as natural as learning to speak, and actually is part of the same process.

Talent is not inborn. It is created by environment, by family, by schooling, by society. Certain things like the potential for perfect pitch or excellent fine motor control are inborn, but are not required for the development of musical "talent". The great teacher Shinichi Suzuki dedicated his life to developing Talent Education, and proved that given the right environment, all normal children can become "talented".

My teaching philosophy begins with the recognition that most children know what instrument they want to play. They are drawn to the instrument that calls to them. Then, wherever they are in development, that's where we start. Most children never have one-on-one time with a teacher, so I spend time getting to know each student, creating a relationship where it is safe for the child to express his or her own opinion, to make choices, and to play the music he or she is passionate about. I structure technical and theory studies to give each child the ability to play any kind of music. On Lopez, I schedule group classes and performances so the children learn to play in an ensemble, and in Mt. Vernon, I encourage children to join the Fidalgo Youth Symphony and participate in their school music programs.

Ensemble playing is an opportunity to expose the students to a concept that is rare in our society, Peaceful Cooperation. Music can be taught competitively, but I find it much more valuable to make it an opportunity to teach leadership, personal responsibility, and service to the community. I asked my Lopez group one day what their music meant to them, using single words. Here's what my middle schoolers came up with: Pride, Emotion, Enlightenment, Concentration--Invigorating, Exhilarating, Enchanting. "We bring the audience to an inner place, where they can get closer to themselves"--an 11-year-old! These are remarkable people who find personal satisfaction and expression in music-making and I am proud to spend time with them.

Music Education of Adults

The population of adults who are just beginning an instrument or starting a new one is growing exponentially. As children go off to college and get jobs, suddenly there is time and money to do something for oneself! Adult music camps, festivals, workshops and seminars are popping up all over. It is now well accepted that taking up an instrument or learning a new one later in life is excellent for the health of brain and body, and offers social opportunities in an increasingly isolated world.

I am constantly amazed and humbled by the dedication and perseverence of my adult students. They struggle with arthritis and tendon issues and time constraints and yet they are fulfilled and renewed by their music. I see my primary goal, after teaching them to get around on their instruments, is to help them learn to play in a group so they can enjoy the pleasures of ensemble playing. To that end, we meet when we can and come together with the younger students for recitals.