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B.M. Eastman School of Music Piano Performance M.S. Juilliard School of Music Piano Performance
1964 Philadelphia Music Teachers' Association Scholarship 1966 Eastman School Fellowship for Accompanying 1984 Tribeca Arts Council - Commission for Childrens' Opera 1986 Temple University Scholarship
I have been a highly effective piano instructor for over forty years. While having taught many pupils to play simply for their own enjoyment and satisfaction, I have to my credit a number of students who have been accepted as music majors at leading conservatories and universities and have embarked on their own performing careers. My students have also won many competitions and scholarships. The most important element in my teaching, however, is instilling a knowledge and love of music. I address the creativity I find in every student, regardless of the student's age or level of advancement, and make the learning process exciting and pleasurable for each student. My students generally achieve a high level of proficiency and I have excellent rapport with my students and their parents.
I began teaching while still in high school and continued teaching while attending the Eastman School of Music. Since graduating from the Juilliard School I was a faculty member of several well-known music conservatories in New York and later in Philadelphia. I currently teach in my studio as well as the students' homes at their convenience. I have performed in concerts and with symphony orchestras to enthusiastic reviews, have appeared numerous times in Carnegie Recital Hall in New York, and in Europe with the International Rome Festival. I have also performed a good deal of music in popular styles, including jazz, Broadway, and top 40s. I have belonged to several bands and have served as a cocktail pianist for dining establishments. This broad-based performance experience nourishes my teaching and renders me an excellent teacher choice for a wide variety of students. I invite you to visit my website at www.karltricomi.com for further information on my experience and credentials, and to hear performances in popular and classical genres.
For beginners who are children, I generally start with the John Thompson course which I still believe to be the best. Alternatively I use the Bastien method which I like because it teaches the students chords and music theory and contains catchy tunes, some of which the students already know. Later, I use the Music for Millions Series Books 1 and 2 which contains many excellent beginner and intermediate pieces that students enjoy playing and which can be challenging at times. From there I take the student through Bach's inventions, Clementi and Kuhlau sonatinas, and childrens' music by Schumann, Tchaikovsky, and Mozart. If a student leans towards a preference for popular styles, I use the Faber and Faber Jazz and Blues series and acquaint the student with jazz chords and patterns. For adults or college students I generally use the Hal Leonard Adult Piano Course which is highly effective for older students. I am generally very thorough in my approach and teach the students to play to the best of their abilities. I have a definite proceedure for practicing which I acquaint the student with from the beginning.
I generally start each lesson by asking the student 1) what went well in their practicing and 2) if there is anything they found difficult. If they mention an area of difficulty we focus on that before making any attempt to play the piece through. I make the lesson a partnership in which we work together toward the goal of accomplishment. Once this has been realized, we then treat the piece as a finished product. I encourage the student to perform their music once it has been learned, either in a student recital, or simply for their parents, friends, even pets! Performance is the best way to ensure that the music will stay with the student for quite a while. Teaching has been perhaps the most important part of my life. It is certainly what I spend most of my time with and I truly love it. There is nothing quite like it. My own enthusiasm helps the student to "catch fire" and to also feel enthusiastic about the music and their progress. At the end of every lesson I give the student very clear goals to accomplish by the next lesson. For example, to play the music faster, to make corrections in notes or fingerings, to make more use of dynamics, and, on a more advanced level, to play the music more convincingly and on a level that the composer would have wanted.
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