I think that the most continuous strand of activity in my work has been my teaching. I can honestly say that the pride I take in each one of my students, current and former, is greater than I take in my own accomplishments. These students of mine have always represented the future, and I feel so delighted to have a part in preparing them for productive and meaningful lives. Many of them make their careers in music, but not all, by any means. What they all do share is a great generosity of spirit, creativity, and a joy for living. What we do as performers exists in the moment, but what we do as teachers affects eternity.
As you can see with this small sample of photos of students, the work is central, but at the same time lifelong friendships are formed and fine memories are made. We have all had a great time together!
My affiliations with music schools began with McGill University, and continued through to the University of Toronto, Manhattan School of Music, The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University.
Although I did many classes during the days of my orchestral playing, I was able to do many more after I retired from the orchestra—the International Masterclasses at Juilliard and Carnegie Mellon University, and my annual masterclass in Germany are highlights. At its best, a masterclass is a time for a student to learn primarily from listening and observing.
Many of the classes I have given attracted students from around the world. This provided a tremendous stimulus to us all in terms of bringing the best of any country’s traditions of flute playing into greater focus and exposure. It was also a thrill for me to teach these classes with many of my former students joining me as master teachers.
Carnegie Mellon University
After my retirement from the New York Philharmonic, I became the Vira I. Heinz Professor of Flute at Carnegie Mellon University. The environment of a great center of learning is a wonderful place to study music. I admire my students for their great interest and gifts in many fields, in addition to their passion for the flute.
Carnegie Mellon has also given me the opportunity to introduce new teaching concepts…weekly masterclasses and collaborative teaching. My association in “team teaching” with Alberto Almarza, Associate Professor of Flute, has brought a new direction and elevated the learning process of all of our students.
In addition to each student working with master flute teachers, we are fortunate to have the inspired collaboration of our class pianist, Vahan Sargsyan. Mr. Sargsyan is a remarkable pianist and works with students in every lesson and weekly masterclasses on acquiring a thorough knowledge and artistic understanding of the flute and piano repertoire.