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Ph.D., UCLA, Ethnomusicology M.A., CSUN, Music B.M., CSUN, Music Community College Lifetime Teaching Credential Professional Designation in Arts Education, LAUSD
CSUN Outstanding Music Student, 1977
Chamber Music 1st Prize, CSUN Arts Council, 1978
USC Recognition Award, 1990 and Phi Beta Natl. Award, 1987.
Numerous Grants won for performing concerts and doing research from: L.A. County Arts Commission, Cultural Affairs Div., Professional Musicians Local 47 Perf. Arts Trust Fund of N.Y., 1994; NEH Afffiliate Research grant 2000, and chosen to present various College Music Society research papers.
Premiered many new works; co-founded Symphony 47 in 2011 while holding Principal 'Cello positions in various music organizations through the years.
Teaching and performing are two of my musical passions which have been growing since my days as a child star dancer/pianist in the 1960's, up to today as a professional 'cellist/ethnomusicologist. In addition to performing on both instruments, I also composed award winning pieces, premiered works as a 'cellist and also was fortunate to have the late great Croatian composer Boris Papandopulo write a solo work for me, just before he passed. I hold various Principal 'cello positions, co-founded the Polish Music Reference Center at USC with Wanda Wilk, in the 1980's; co-founded Symphony 47 with Floyd Clark and had my New American Quartet for over 18 years, which also toured England, in 1997. I performed many overseas concerts; was Yo Yo Ma's pre-concert lecturer at the Wadsworth in 1994; coached Samuel L. Jackson for his movie role as a 'cello playing cop in 2000, and performed with Herbie Hancock in a World Peace concert in 2008, with my quartet. In addtion to coaching string quartets, youth orchestra 'cello sections and performing Master classes, I have maintained my private studio to teach both 'cello and piano lessons for over 30 years.
In addtion to teaching privately in my studio, both 'cello and piano for over 30 years now, I have also taught after school string classes, for all student levels. One unique project that occured was playing for a ribbon cutting ceremony for an adult care center where I featured my students who performed with me and a few of my colleagues. Coaching youth orchestra 'cello sections sometime culminated in my New American Quartet coaching College students then performing a concert for them and their families. I encourage my students to write their own pieces and perform for one another in my "musical get togethers" held in my studio or sometimes in larger venues. I have also organized 'cello ensembles that would often incorporate a singer, similar to what Pablo Casals did, 50 years ago. I tend to make learning more fun than just teaching in a strict manner - it is too much work to learn an instrument so the student might as well enjoy what he/she is doing otherwise, why do it???? I make sure that pieces the student wants to learn are also incorporated into the mix of classical, folk, and popular musical repertoire, in addition to the regimen of exercises and scales.
If teaching the 'cello, I like to use the instruction book that I learned from which is Samuel Applebaum's Beginning Strings book and around this I will introduce more international music, often in duet form to help with intonation. After the student develops good basic technique, then sonatas and concerti are gradually introduced. If teaching the piano, then I make sure that Dozen a Day for the beginners is incorporated with any of the beginning/intermediate books such as John Thompson's, Edna Mae Burnam's or Frances Clark's methods and for more advanced piano students the Hanon exercises are included along with the standard Classical repertoire. I like to incorporate 4 hands playing of fun pieces as a diversion from the solo playing plus I encourage my students to accompany me on the piano in a few 'cello pieces so that they acquire a good sense of ensemble playing. I have "musical get-togethers" where everyone plays for their family friends and other students and I will sometimes bring in a professional colleague where we will treat the students to a performance so they can see what happens when one becomes a "pro" - it is my way of saying, "good job everyone"!
Before the first lesson I ask the student what their goals are and what they want to do with their musical study in the future. First and foremost for both 'cellists and pianists is to learn the notes with flashcards so that the student will not be thinking of every note they need to "find" but it will be so automatic that all the student has to do is bring out their musicality through the pieces. If the student does not express a total passion for wanting to learn the instrument, then I suggest that maybe this is not for them. The most important thing is that when they do have the time to practice, it is focused and in intervals that are divided up, so as not to loose concentration on what they are learning. Again, if the student is not enjoying the music with a passion, there are other things they could be doing that they enjoy!
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