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BA Montclair State College, 1977 MA Montclair State College, 1981
I hold two degrees in music from Montclair State College, a BA and an MA in music. My primary instrument was piano and my secondary was violin. I studied piano with Murray Present, pupil of Josef and Rosinna Lhevinne at Julliard, working with him for both degrees and thereafter. My violin instructor was Dr. Jerome Landsman, member of the first Heifetz Master Class at the University of Southern California at Berklee. My Masters degree was in theory and composition, so I am skilled at explaining form and harmonic structure to my students. I enjoy teaching children and also have had great success with adult beginners and returning players, finding them to be highly motivated.
I discovered in High School that I had a knack for teaching and explaining music and have been teaching ever since. I have taught at the County College of Morris, The Workshop for the Arts in Westfield, The Union County Conservatory in Rahway The Montclair Music Studio, and Dan's Music Studio in West Orange. I have served as organist and music director for over twenty years at Episcopal and Lutheran churches. I learned a very high standard of interpretation from Professor Present and also the desire to give my best to every student, regardless of age, background or innate ability.
For all students I stress fluent music reading and a natural stress-free technique. For the early stages I have had good results with Faber's Piano Adventure series, finding that these progress at a reasonable pace and build reading skills logically. For technique I like FJH Music's Accelerando series. These short exercises have a big impact on the student's technique and reading, and bring maximum results in a short time. I also like to assign keyboard harmony drills of my own invention which help the student understand how chords are built and how they are linked within each key.
I always have taught with patience and kindness and have found that every explanation and solution must be keyed to the needs of each individual student. Through my many years of teaching I have found many ways of explaining each point. It is very important to me that each student play with a musical understanding that they have arrived at thru their own understanding. I have my students play usually in two recitals a year whenever possible-December and June. I don't believe that students should be forced to perform. With shy students I often start with duets so they have my full support right at their side. I do feel that developing the poise to play in front of people with control, accuracy and understanding is an important part of a student's deveopment.
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