“The principle goal of education should be to create men and women capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what others have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept everything they are offered.”
- Jean Piaget, psychologist, and philosopher
Several years ago, I was allowed to take on perhaps the biggest challenge of my career: to teach. Little did I know then about the responsibilities, surprises, and positive discoveries that such a task will bring. At my hometown's Youth Orchestra program, I started teaching flute lessons, and years later, this would develop into one of my most beloved passions.
Since then, I have been fortunate to continue on this journey and have taught in several settings, from masterclasses to the classroom, workshops, and orchestral clinics in Mexico and the US. As a Kenan Fellow at Lincoln Center Education, I was exposed to a vast amount of knowledge in the fields of aesthetic education, creativity, imagination, and arts in the classroom; by far, my most valuable pedagogical experience.
As artists and educators, I believe that our main responsibility is to instill a lasting appetite for discovery in every student. Cultivate a sense of creativity through the arts, particularly through music, which has proven over and over its infallible power to transform and impact our society.
Also, it has been an honor to serve as Assistant Director of Education of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. ALJA was founded by Grammy award winner, Arturo O'Farrill, to promote and preserve Latin jazz music. This organization serves over 12 public schools in NYC, 3 city-wide ensembles, and 2 senior centers, reaching over 2,2oo students. Also, I have been fortunate to be part of a wonderful El-Sistema-inspired project in Corona, Queens, called Corona Youth Music Project. Now, I am thrilled to join the prestigious Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division as Conductor of the Repertory Symphony Orchestra. Also, I was previously honored to serve as Conductor of String Orchestras at Brooklyn College Preparatory Center for the Performing Arts, from 2017 to 2018.
Eventually, I have come to a few conclusions; that one learns by teaching, or as Piaget would have put it: doing is learning, and that music has the power to connect us all.
- Felipe Tristan