Jill Dreeben teaches flute at Brandeis University. She also teaches flute and coaches chamber music in her home studio in Arlington, MA.
Jill welcomes students of all ages and levels of proficiency. Her students can perform in an annual, low pressure recital. They are also encouraged and helped to play with others in small chamber groups.
For more information please visit:
I believe that playing and being involved in music brings out a person’s inner self in a way that connects to others and the world in a genuine way. What I love are the many levels of expression that come into play, from deciphering the musical language of rhythm, melody, and harmony, to the connection between mind and body, that is always present. What develops is a way of communicating that is beyond words, a way to help people get to know themselves and find joy in sharing with others.
The skills involved in learning music are essential for any kind of growth. My goals as a teacher are to show my students that a love of playing music will lead them to success in all areas of their lives whether they choose to become musicians or not. Learning happens when students are allowed to follow their own curiosity and develop a mindful way of noticing. They can learn without negative self-judgment which will open them up to new ways of thinking and working. I do not place importance on being the best, winning auditions, competitions or any other outer “measure of success”. However I do support them in their own goals. If a student wants to work towards these goals I want to help them do it. My expectations are that my students work hard and try their best. I do not set a timeline for improvement. Learning an instrument is a non-linear process, and my hope is that they learn to like the journey most of the time!
How does this work in my studio?
I believe in teaching the whole person. So often, students are taught how to play their instrument without realizing that an understanding of how the body is designed to move is an integral part of learning the instrument. I am a licensed Andover Educator, the group which teaches Body Mapping to musicians. We all have subconscious maps in our minds (Body Maps) about how our bodies are put together and how movement happens. If that map is inaccurate, our movement will be inaccurate as well. Body Mapping teaches us to use all of our senses to perceive what is happening in our bodies while we play. We learn to be aware through physical sensation as well as what we can hear and see and then we can train our movement. The ultimate goal is to play with freedom and ease, without pain.
What should a student expect in a lesson with me?
We usually start out sight-reading a duet! Why? Because playing with someone is more fun than playing alone! There is no pressure to “get it right”, since it is all new! You are expected and allowed to make mistakes as a beginner. Making mistakes is part of learning. Getting upset about making mistakes hampers learning.
There are many different aspects to learning the flute: tone, finger technique, rhythm, musical interpretation. I use simple melodies to work on basics. I show that technical patterns like scales, intervals and arpeggios are found in all kinds of music and we think of them as music, not just patterns. We have fun learning how movement and lack of movement enhance or inhibit our playing while sitting on yoga balls, walking backwards and forwards, examining skeletons to learn about structure, watching videos of breathing and trying things on. Each lesson is geared toward the strengths and weaknesses of each student and music is the guiding principle.
I teach students of all ages and levels and I enjoy helping each one find in themselves what they never knew they had.