They say, “You never really know something until you teach it to someone else.” This is the reason many of our teachers teach. Mandi Kitchen explains that teaching has helped her grow as a musician. From mentoring celebrity children to troubled youth, Mandi Kitchen has done it at all. Her patience and creative energy are the attributes that make her a standout teacher. Until 4/22/18, we are offering a 10% discount code (Mandi10) when you book with her. Find her music here at book a lesson with her at Care2Rock.com.
How has teaching made you a better musician?
Teaching has increased my skill as a musician because I’ve often been expected to teach material that I must also learn. I once was asked to teach a Logic Pro class, meaning I had to improve my skills in the program–mixing, recording and producing–before I could teach the class.
I hear that you’re quite good at teaching children. What advice do you have when it comes to keeping younger students focused?
Make the lesson fun! The more interactive and entertaining a lesson can be, the better the chances for keeping their focus. Transition quickly from one topic to the next helps maintain their focus and attention span.
That seems simple enough. You’ve mentioned that teaching in West LA has led to some interesting teaching experiences. Can you elaborate?
I’d have to say teaching celebrity families in particular has been given me very interesting experiences! I once had a student whose mother was a very high profile artist who performed and recorded all over the world so as you can imagine, it made for a very unstable childhood for him and his sister. It melted my heart when he described one day leaning to play the piano as finding “his center.”
Tell me about your experience volunteering with troubled youth. Did music help impact daily lives positively?
Yes, it totally did! It also created relationships with those youth and their peers that wouldn’t otherwise have been created. Seeing them collaborate and being openly vulnerable to each other was one of the most satisfying experiences during my years of teaching. I miss those kids, but I know that teaching them to work through their hardships with their musical talent and passions will stay by them as a blessing and a healing technique.
Were you also in Greece in one point?
I wrote a song “Free Agent” for a fundraiser project I did in 2016 called Help A Child’s Future. It was a project I created in which we raised about $20,000 for refugee children in Greece to fund education in their refugee shelters. I went over to Greece the summer of 2016 to volunteer with the refugee children, visit the Praksis run shelters, and meet with the coordinators at Praksis who were running the children’s shelters. The project fully funded two years of education for refugee children from 2016-2018. It was an incredible life-changing project to work on and initiate. To this day, it is still one of my proudest accomplishments.
Beyond teaching what are your other musical aspirations?
I also have published and sold my own original music and covers of famous hymns that I arrange. My future aspirations, other than teaching, would be to continue both of those pursuits and keep making new meaningful relationships throughout my music career.