Online Lesson Studio

Combat the spread of COVID-19 by moving to online lessons!

Students can use remote learning tools such as ZOOM and Skype for free. Screen sharing features, score annotation capabilities, and other tools make online learning an easy and educational experience.

Enjoy flexible scheduling, video submission lesson options (asynchronous), and "regular" live lessons through online platforms.

Natalie's extensive digital library makes this an easy transition when selecting new repertoire, etudes, and technical studies.

Payments are accepted electronically through Zelle or PayPal, and checks accepted through mail.

In-person lessons will resume in a few months based on guidance provided by the CDC.

Use the contact form to schedule a trial lesson and register for regular lessons.

Teaching Statement

Every player must learn fundamentals such as technique, rhythm, beautiful tone production, intonation, and expressive musical playing. This is accomplished through diligent practice and an open-mindedness to learning. In order to develop these fundamentals, students in applied lessons are assigned solo repertoire, etudes, and technical studies. Rather than forcing students to practice or perform in a professor-prescribed manner, it is more important to equip students with problem-solving skills that enable them to conquer obstacles on their own and without step-by-step guidance. For example, I will offer two to three suggestions on how I might practice a technical passage in order to bring it up to tempo. In a lesson, I demonstrate different approaches and how they can be used most effectively. Then, students must choose their own method to work on the assigned repertoire for the week and apply it to a new etude that we have not yet worked on together. Students keep a journal of the measures practiced and what practice approach was used. In this way, topics that we discuss are reinforced every lesson using the same repertoire over time, and students learn how to apply new approaches to future repertoire.

 

One of my strengths is designing student-centric lesson plans that meet individuals’ personal goals by blending fundamentals, standard repertoire, student-selected music, and career milestones. My teaching approach stands at the intersection of performance and entrepreneurship, as the modern musician needs a well-rounded education to succeed. This year I designed a Music Business course to supply performers with basic business skills such as developing a portfolio, crafting a professional online presence, writing grants, and audio/video editing basics. I strive to equip students with real world business skills, a passion for equitable program, and the desire to enrich society outside of the practice room or music.

Diversity and Equity Statement

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are the cornerstones of my performance career, scholarly pursuits, and community outreach. I encourage my students, colleagues, and mentors to diversify their programs by choosing composers and performers of differing genders, racial backgrounds, and LGBT+ status. My go-to resource for diversified programming is the Institute for Composer Diversity, a non-profit for which I am a volunteer building their chamber music database. Last week, a clarinetist wrote to me asking for help selecting repertoire beyond the “standards” written by white European men. I am proud that a passion for diversified programming has become my identifier to my colleagues.

 

Aside from programming, it is equally important to include all members of the community and treat everyone with dignity and respect. For me, inclusion means reaching out to performers, scholars, community members, and others for their input, feedback, and collaborative ideas on how to best represent various cultures. People want to be included in the artistic and planning process.

 

Equitable practices are difficult to quantify, but I strive for equity through my work with Whistling Hens, a soprano and clarinet duo I founded to champion the musical artistry of women. We perform and commission music by women composers, an historically underrepresented and uncommissioned body of artists. Through commissions, we provide income to living women composers and materials for use in their own applications for grants, conferences, and festivals. We are moving the needle toward financial equity between male and female composers. Additionally, Whistling Hens has won numerous grants which enable us to provide free concerts to increase access for all individuals.

 

In 2017 I joined Classically Dope, a hip-hop/rap and classical music collaboration that uses music as an instrument of social change. Combining two genres that are typically seen as polar opposites, this fusion brings diverse communities together and gives a voice to the black experience in America. We are active in low-income districts of Washington, DC and underfunded schools in Prince George’s County, MD.

My work as a performer and teacher also extends across generations. In 2019 I began living as the Artist in Residence at Collington Retirement Community, a community of independent and assisted living seniors. At Collington, approximately half of my duties are administrative, while the rest of my time is spent cultivating friendships and partnerships with residents. Seniors face discrimination and many stereotypes, but my work educates people on the vibrancy, wisdom, and capabilities of seniors.

 

There is a lot of work to be done increasing musical diversity, providing equal access to everyone, and including voices of all communities. However, together we can build a new culture that will eventually permeate every school, community, and the nation.

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© 2020 Natalie Groom

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