Teaching children to learn music in a similar way in which they learn language provides children with exposure and context that fits in with how they developmentally learn. The two influential parts of my identity as a musician that have shaped my teaching philosophy is playing fiddle and learning traditional American music exclusively through aural tradition, and learning the concepts of Music Learning Theory in my undergraduate degree and applying them as a teacher. Being able to capture the spirit and essence of learning and playing music by ear gives children the joy of the experience. Consequently, using the foundations of Music Learning Theory will give children the tools and ear to be an active, conscious musician.
Tahlia Cott received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Eastman School of Music in 2017. While pursuing her degree, she taught as a Teaching Artist at ROCmusic Collaborative (an El Sistema-inspired strings program), a fiddle instructor at the Kanack School of Music and a Theory-in-Motion teacher at Eastman Community Music School. In addition to these teaching positions, while pursuing her degree at Eastman, Tahlia founded Eastman Americana, a student organization started for the purpose of educating Eastman students about various styles of traditional American music. Eastman Americana has hosted various guest artists such as Bruce Molsky and Bèla Fleck for workshops and masterclasses with Eastman students.
In addition to various piano performance and accompanying experience, Tahlia also has related experience playing fiddle in various bands and projects around the East Coast area. She has played fiddle in multiple venues and festivals in the Connecticut, New York City, Boston and Rochester area such as the Rochester International Jazz Festival, Rochester Lilac Festival, Rochester Fringe Festival, Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, Brantling Bluegrass Festival, Greater Danbury Irish Festival, Northeast Music and Dance Festival, has performed live on radio stations such as WXXI in Rochester, NY and WGDR in Montpelier, Vermont, and placed in contests such as the Roxbury Picking and Fiddling Contest. While pursuing her undergraduate at Eastman, Tahlia performed in two bluegrass bands, Great Vagrant, a band she started her freshman year with other Eastman students and The Crooked North, a project that has just released their first full-length debut album of original music.
B.M., Music Education, Eastman School of Music