Lindsay Clark | Instructor Bio

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  • What Instruments do you teach?
    Piano, Voice

    What is your teaching philosophy?
    I believe structure, consistency, creativity and joy are the most important elements of music education, as well as a willingness to explore challenges, new ideas, and many styles of music. I think the purpose of music is to provide joy and inspiration for the player and listener, and as a tool for self expression.

    How long have you been teaching music? At Youth Music Project?
    I have been teaching music for about four years and am just beginning at Youth Music Project.

    What is your favorite thing about teaching music?
    I love getting to listen to the beautiful and fun pieces my students are learning.

    What do you expect of your students in classes/lessons?
    I expect kindness and respect, and a willingness to learn and meet challenges as they arise. I also expect students to be able to put in some practice time during the week between lessons.

  • What do you expect of student’s parents?
    I expect them to be able to engage with their children’s learning and offer praise and feedback, and stay involved in their progress and learning throughout their lessons.

    When did you first start playing music?
    I started playing piano when I was four years old and singing shortly after. In elementary and middle school I learned violin, and in my early twenties I taught myself to play guitar. When I was about fourteen I started exploring writing my own songs.

    What is your educational background? Did you study music in school and/or privately?
    I studied music privately from a very young age (piano, violin, and choir), taking lessons from a variety of accomplished classical and jazz teachers. In my early twenties I transferred into Berklee College of Music where I got my BA and studied all styles of music with piano as my principal instrument and an emphasis on songwriting. I have also always loved to perform.

    Do you play in any bands / perform in the Portland area?
    I play in solo folk project and have a new album coming out this year.

    What is the first song you learned how to play and how old were you?
    I think Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, around age four – but I also loved to sing French songs and lullabies with my mom even before that, she would always sing to me before I went to sleep.

    How do you handle mistakes while practicing or during a performance?
    When practicing, I would go back and work out the spot slowly. In performances I would say mistakes don’t matter very much – it’s all about staying present in the moment and not letting a mistake throw you off, it’s about doing your best in the moment, and finding joy in sharing music with others.

    Describe a skill on your instrument that was a challenge and you’ve had to work very hard to achieve.
    Rhythm was difficult for me early on, still I have to count things out when it’s extra complicated. It was sometimes difficult for me to realize I could challenge myself and learn hard pieces – that if I could slow down and work at something, taking it piece by piece, I could learn anything.

    Who are your musical influences?
    Bach, Chopin, Scott Joplin, Joni Mitchell, The Beach Boys, Gillian Welch

    What do you feel when you play music?
    Inspired and creative! I also find it very relaxing and soothing

    If you had the chance to study and/or perform with any musician, living or deceased, who would it be?
    Chopin, Brian Wilson, Gillian Welch, Joanna Newsom

    When did you know you wanted to be musician?
    When I was about five.

    If you weren’t a musician/teacher what might you be?
    Perhaps work with animals or work in other creative arts – photography, writing.