Flutist Dawn Weiss, teacher, event performer
    Flutist Dawn Weiss Home      Biography      Flute teacher       Group Classes      video and audio      photos      Press      Contact

Teaching Philosophy of Dawn Weiss

Creative teaching supports a person's uniqueness and artistic experience during all aspects of learning. Playing music offers the opportunity to express all levels of feelings, emotions, ideas, and all workings of the human heart, even while developing technique.

Dawn's way with teaching is full of intuition and insight.... I am awed and inspired by her musicality and passion for flute, which always pours from her heart, and which -- for the ears who can listen -- she can teach to also draw out of oneself.

Darren Cook
Assistant Principal,
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Private Flute Instructor

Risk taking and spontaneity are crucial in attaining skills without sacrificing artistic expression. It is important to learn the basics, to learn the historically standard approaches to repertoire, then to go beyond them. Playfully exploring a range of expression, a flutist can discover their feelings and bring a fresh sound to established masterpieces. Ms. Weiss honors the individuality of each person in her teaching style and incorporates vivid metaphors to aid in developing artistry.

There are many documented benefits of studying an instrument. Music lessons develop reflexes, responsiveness, skills in concentration, physical coordination, physical flexibility, mental organization, mental flexibility, perception and listening acuity. Most importantly, it brings tremendous personal satisfaction.

Weiss with James Galway

Recital Preparation

Recital preparation starts with the selection of music and continues through every aspect of learning the repertoire and developing the presentation. It includes ensemble rehearsals, acoustical balancing on stage, forming stage presence, developing mental focus and concentration, and learning to deal with performance related anxiety.

Audition Preparation

There is an art to taking auditions. Having been on both sides of many auditions, Weiss shares:

I am always reminded of my first professional orchestral audition. I didn't make it into the finals but had the distinct privilege of being invited to sit with the orchestra committee in the auditorium as the audition continued into the afternoon. One committee member, somewhat out of the boredom of listening to hours of flutists playing the same 6 minutes of excerpts, had a running bet with another committee member. He placed money on each candidate before they played their first note as he watched them enter the stage. He was able to guess which contestant would make it into the finals based on their confidence and stage presence. He was right almost one hundred percent of the time! That taught me a tremendous lesson.

Stage presence and charisma do make a difference. That is not to diminish the art and subtlety of interpretation of all the excerpts. It speaks to the conveyance of confidence and self mastery that goes along with excellent preparation.

It is important to attain a balance in one's development. Time needs to be allotted for refining previously learned material to adequately prepare the audition. Additionally, time needs to be allotted for developing new repertoire and new techniques. Too many budding students overly focus on a particular performance or audition, getting stuck reworking the same material, when they need opportunities to stretch their repertoire and/or develop new skills. One should learn how to stay unattached to the results of an audition or performance. A person experiences setbacks and losses along with success. Properly framed, a person can learn a great deal from the losses, sometimes much more than from the successes.

Dawn Weiss coaches many students and professionals including all woodwind instrumentalists and string players in their preparation for taking auditions. It is an exciting process.

Performance Strategies

All players, even famous artists, are occasionally confronted with performance related issues. Ms. Weiss finds fascinating the myriad of skills demanded by performance: developing high levels of concentration and mental focus, pacing oneself, proper preparation, techniques in visualization, developing stage presence. She includes these in her private teaching, as well as in workshops and master classes for flutists and all other instrumentalists.

Artistry and Musicianship

With the challenge of keeping classical music vital, it is important that the art of music be emphasized beyond the craft of music. Music can soothe a person's heart, heal an emotional wound, and relax the soul. Dawn Weiss is committed to guiding the players' development to find deep artistic expression, and to understand and harness the power and beauty of music.


 red rose

Home — Resume — Private Lessons — Group Classes — Audio/Video — Gallery — Press — Contact — Sitemap