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Percussionist Julie Hill’s Unique Teaching Strategies

Here are three sure-fire ways to connect with your students.

In Percussionist Julie Hill Brings the World Home, we outline how Hill inspires percussionists on many levels: as a university educator, performer and past president of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS).

Many of her philosophies and strategies can be implemented on a smaller scale at your school. Here are three of her out-of-the-box ideas.

Set the Example: Let your students see your musical life outside of the classroom. Hill invites her university students to concerts where she performs with various ensembles. Her students see her work ethic and the results it yields, and they ultimately gain respect for her.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone: Hill believes that having new experiences are necessary for growth as a person and an educator. For her, that involves traveling around the world and learning about new cultures. She incorporates her newfound knowledge of international musical styles into her teaching. Attending conferences and events such as the Percussive Arts Society International Convention also allows her to learn new ideas, network with other teachers and find guest instructors for her classroom.

Pay It Forward: When Hill’s own progress could have faltered due to lack of resources, a teacher helped her focus on the music, not the money. Now Hill uses her circle of influence to advocate for students who may not have access to opportunities. Hill and her students also give back to their community through performing for younger musicians.

Photo ©  2017 Nathan Morgan

This article originally appeared in the 2017 V1 issue of Yamaha SupportED. To see more back issues, find out about Yamaha resources for music educators, or sign up to be notified when the next issue is available, click here.

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