"Respecting the person, the unique direction in which [students] want to go, and their all-around potential, are most important. In this atmosphere, students find a safe environment in which to further explore their own musical voice, while continuing to hone their technique. And the result, they tell me, is real interest and dedication."
"Billy Harper, one of my bandleaders, creates for each of his band members a space in which we feel encouraged to blossom—to reach as far as possible, at times even beyond our conscious awareness, into what we can do. I can't think of any better musical environment than that. And that is what I try to offer my students: spaces inside which they can find out who they are."
"What I like most about teaching, aside from the usual self-satisfaction that I think every teacher gets from a student improving, is the satisfaction of seeing in that student's face and body language a certain dignity in their self-regard as an artist. When I see that they have not only learned the information, but have also found a real connection to their true musical selves, that is extra special to me."
"I'm not talking about arrogance here; I'm talking about real trust in our own artistic authority. When we can find a balance between self-confidence and an understanding that music is always sovereign, there's no problem with arrogance. Music—specifically the music that's inspiring us in the present moment—comes first. We're second in command."