Engaging teaching with a focus on artistic expression, sound fundamentals, and creative problem solving is critical, but so too is the development of a community that embraces, enjoys, and furthers this learning outside of the weekly lesson. As students navigate their degree program, an applied lesson is a critical time with a powerful one-on-one dynamic, but the bulk of a music students’ week is spent outside of that lesson. Developing and maintaining a studio with a team atmosphere is essential to Dr. Stetson’s teaching. Building an environment where engaging with musical concepts and attentive support extend beyond the private lesson and into each interaction students have with their peers, both inside and outside classrooms and rehearsal halls, is paramount. Students are encouraged to learn as much from each other as they will from their faculty.
Extending musical skills and embracing a sense of unity that sustains beyond the lesson time creates an opportunity for integration, a cornerstone of Dr. Stetson’s teaching philosophy. The detailed work in an instrumental music lesson is made stronger by constantly incorporating academic class topics from both the music curriculum and university experience as a whole. Seeking repertoire, exercises, and performance projects that rely on and enhance the learning from these other spheres create the best positive outcomes for individual and ensemble performances and better prepares students for success as teachers and artistic professionals. With this in mind, Dr. Stetson sees applied lessons functioning as a platform for creating connections among all aspects of a music student’s degree, and he continuously leads students to do so.
With coursework and ensemble concepts integrated continuously into the applied lesson format, Dr. Stetson also seeks to set his student’s sights on opportunities that exist outside of the University walls. Success in competitions as individuals and in chamber music can create a common goal to build the community spirit that is so vital. Seeking competitive scholarships not only serves to provide accomplishment and financial support for students, but also validates the academic integration that is essential to this type of success. The entrepreneurship skills required for accomplishing these are practiced and learned throughout the process will produce a community of students capable of inventing and creating new and exciting opportunities for themselves and their peers.
By building a team-oriented community focused on full integration of the university experience with an eye for entrepreneurship, Dr. Stetson aims to better equip students to successfully manage their experience at the university and prepare them for a future filled with creativity and artistic expression.
“As a teacher, nothing gives me greater joy than inspiring students to engage in lives rich with musical activity. As a trumpet professor at Texas Tech University, my teaching focuses on developing a team atmosphere where engagement with musical concepts and attentive support extends outside of the private lesson. Constantly incorporating topics from the wider musical curriculum and university experience, I see trumpet lessons as a platform for creating connections among all aspects of a music degree.”