There are several principles that are important to me as a teacher.
The first is simple: kindness. For me, the ideal relationship between teacher and student is founded on kindness and on respect. I am rigorous in my teaching, and demanding, and seek to impart the highest musical and technical standards to my students. However, kindness is the all-important bedrock on which my teaching rests.
I want to help each student find his or her musical voice at the piano. We become pianists to express something unique and deeply personal to us as musicians and as human beings. It is my role as a teacher to help a student discover and develop that unique voice.
At the heart of musical expression lies technique. One needs a strong, secure, knowledgeable, fleet, accurate, and always adaptable technique. Without this critical foundation, one can never feel truly comfortable at the piano. Technique is the springboard from which one can realize one’s musical dreams.
I have been extraordinarily fortunate in my life to have worked with great artists. I studied closely with Rudolf Serkin at his home in Guilford, Vermont, and this was an unforgettable experience for me. Another formative experience was working with the great pianist and teacher, Leon Fleisher, for several years.
At the Juilliard School, I studied with the inestimable Russian virtuoso Ania Dorfmann, from whom I learned technique in the honored tradition of the Russian school. As a young child, I had early and invaluable technical training with Jeaneane Dowis, one of the leading assistants to the great Rosina Lhevinne.
I have also had the opportunity to have illuminative coachings on the works of Schubert, Beethoven and Mozart with the great Alfred Brendel. I was fortunate to study both musical theory and Schenkerian analysis with Carl Schachter.
Teaching is the art of passing on tradition. It is my hope that as a teacher I can impart to my students some of the extraordinary lessons I have received from these great masters. It is my privilege to see my students graduate and go out into the world as committed performers, teachers, and musicians.