WYNTON MARSALLIS: The culture of jazz is international at this point. It's not something that I consider to be geographic. I'm from the New Orleans, so most of what I-- my base of knowledge is a New Orleans kind of base. But I don't look at it geographically or regionally, and I tend to really teach people very personally.
Even when I was teaching in really bad schools, I developed a technique where I would get like one of the most unruly kids, and I put my hand on them, and of course, they hated that. So they knocked my hand off of their shoulder. I put it back up there, start calling them son, stuff they didn't necessarily like. But over the course of like 15 or 20 minutes, they'd be like OK.
All the sudden that hand start to feel good. I said wow. You'd be shocked how many kids like just start crying. It was like that's probably the most profound experience I had teaching. And because they've been treated a certain way, just the force of that kind of love and a feeling, man, it would hit them.
A lot of times the environment makes a person be misunderstood. But underneath that, and I try to teach underneath whatever the surface of what you think, because we don't know who each other is. I go with fundamentals.
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Famed jazz musician and Cornell A.D. White Professor-at-Large Wynton Marsalis on his approach to teaching.