Organic Learning

Organic Learning

Hello and WELCOME to the new www.marksowlakis.com.  The thrust of the new website is to highlight what I call Comprehensive Clarinet and Saxophone Instruction, particularly involving my teaching studio at West Valley Music in Mountain View California, and also my free lance teaching around the Bay Area.

I became a teacher for a variety of reasons——not only out of necessity coming out of graduate school, but because I experienced how poorly my instruments and jazz improvisation were presented to me over the years in a number of instances. Too often pieces or concepts that I was NOT ready for were pushed upon me, actually stopping my forward progress, while my personal strengths and interests were rarely addressed, nor my creativity encouraged.  Now I strive to address each individual students needs at the correct time and with the correct solution to issues that arise, and to treat each student as an individual with specific interests.  Which leads me to the unique focus of my teaching…..Organic Learning!

Organic Learning——What is it and why is it effective?

“Organic” to me means natural.  A simple idea really.  Remember when you were a kid and got involved with something because it was fun?  In my case it was golf.  I spent endless hours as a kid lobbing golf balls around the backyard, graduated to the practice ares where endless hours were then spent experimenting with learning to chip, putt and curve golf shots, and then I finally took that to the golf course and became a scratch golfer by the age of 16.  The learning was fun, the progression was natural, and the steps along the way just blended together seamlessly until an incredible level of mastery was achieved at a young age.  THAT Is Organic Learning.

Apply that same method to learning an instrument…….

I won’t go into specifics here as some of that information is proprietary, gleaned from my three decades as a teacher and performer, and my research into the fine teachings of a very few in the music world, (hint…..Lennie Tristano and Warne Marsh taught in this manner), but it is enough to say you will find out about it in your work with me.  And you will benefit from it.  A great deal, no question about it.

The next blog post will address What To Look For In A Great Teacher.  Please stay tuned for that and check back often.  I anticipate blog posts on a regular basis a couple of times a month…..

Thanks for your interest…..Markos

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