Danwen Jiang is surely an artist for the music community of the world.
-- The Manchester Journal, VT
My Teaching Philosophy
When students come to study with me, I always ask them what their purposes and goals are for going into music and becoming violinists. Some say they would like to perform in professional orchestras after they graduate; some wish to become successful soloists or chamber musicians; and others show interest or passion for becoming educators in higher education or primary or secondary public or private school music teachers. To help my students achieve their goals, I develop them technically, musically, intellectually, emotionally and artistically.
When I teach, each student receives the full focus of my energy and my attention. I firmly believe in building a solid technical foundation for each of my students, which enables the student to have secure technical control over the instrument and allow him to have the freedom to focus on the music and its interpretation. I set a repertoire requirement for each student based on his degree requirement and performance level, and require several hours of practice daily. Part of my teaching strategy is to also teach students how to evaluate and solve problems on their own, so they can be more productive during their individual practice sessions. In addition to teaching my students different styles and periods of music that reflects in the violin repertoire, I highly encourage their personal growth and creativity. I truly believe that this will greatly benefit the students in becoming creative, artistic and successful as they mature.
I devote much of my time and energy to create as many performing opportunities as possible for my students, including performance classes, on and off campus performances, participation in local, national or international competitions and summer music festivals, as well as guest artists’ master classes. These important and valuable opportunities enable young artists to gain technical control and confidence as they master their instrument, and experience the musical freedom to further develop their artistic individuality, and allow them to be exposed to varied musical approaches and artistic interpretations of a variety of different artists, which greatly broaden young artists’ artistic visions as they develop. At the same time, these are wonderful opportunities for these talented young musicians to be heard and recognized on national and international concert stages as they represent a very high musical performance level and the artistic excellence of our university.
In addition to teaching individual violin lessons, I enjoy teaching chamber music and orchestral performance. Through these coaching sessions, I teach young performers chamber repertoire and related performances skills, as well as about collaboration, tolerance, democracy, and humanity: collaboration to enable the students to learn to work as a team, tolerance because each member of an ensemble must negotiate over the musical preferences of others, democracy to facilitate discussion and learning from others, and humanity so that they develop a mutual respect for their colleagues. As part of my teaching philosophy, I think that chamber music performance is one of the most important courses that all performing music students should take in order to become truly successful musical artists.
I strongly believe that classical music is one of the most important elements in our culture, a keystone in the development of modern civilization. It is not only a universal mechanism that allows people to communicate with each other but also enables them to share similar emotions, which are often difficult to verbalize. It contributes to aesthetic appreciation and social life. In important ways, it represents the time, fashion and life style of the centuries in which people have lived, yet it continues to serve as a key nutritional supplement for ongoing cultural development. My ultimate goal is to fully prepare my students to become successful contributors, whether as performers, teachers, or entrepreneurs in the arts.