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Performances: All over the United States, Canada, Mexico, Thailand, Germany, Estonia, Finland, Virgin Islands, and the Caribbean, including Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center, Echo Awards, The Museum of Modern Art, New York Film Festival, Birdland, The Blue Note, New York Comedy Festival, Brooklyn Comedy Festival, Winter Jazz Fest, 55 Bar, Celebrate Brooklyn, Tallin Music Week, Pan American Games, Summit at Sea Tulum, Sunfest, Los Dells, Sleep No More, Artists: Charles Bradley, The Heavy, Quantic, Lukas Graham, Club Casa Chamber Orchestra, Jesse Fischer, MK Groove Orchestra, Clynt Yerkes Quartet, New York Master Chorale, Reggie Watts, Rag N Bone Man, Akoya Afrobeat, Elise Testone, Ron Pope, IGBO, Rob Lewis, Tangerine Dream, Fred Thomas, One O’Clock Lab Band (Jazz Grammy nominee 2009), Bill Whited Big Band, Cecilia Coleman Big Band, Broadcasts/Film: NPR, VH1, Echo Awards (Germany), Red Bull Radio, TV Land, KNTU, Live Stream Radio City, NBC, Younger, New York Film Festival, The Last Rhumba, The Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Education: Master of Music, University of North Texas; B.M. University of North Texas Former Faculty Positions/Teaching: Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Lewisville High School, Casper Jazz Fest, North Texas Jazz Camp, Lone Star Jazz Camp, Current positions: Prep Center since 2019
Performances: All across the United States, France, England, Mexico, and Canada. Education: B.M., the University of Texas; M.M., William Paterson University; studied with Gene Bertoncini, Steve LaSpina, Rich Perry, and Mulgrew Miller. Faculty positions: La Guitarra Studio, El Paso Conservatory of Music, the University of Texas at El Paso, Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children, School of Rock (Hoboken branch), Brooklyn Prep Center.
Performances: Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center); Manhattan School of Music; Columbia University; New York University; Kingsborough Community College (CUNY); Harrison Public Library; Knitting Factory. Education: Ed.M., Teachers College, Columbia University (in progress); M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University; B.M., Manhattan School of Music; guitar studies with Jorge Morel, Oren Fader, and Mark Delpriora; master classes with Eliot Fisk, Eduardo Fernandez, David Starobin, and Patrick O’Brien. Faculty positions: Creative Arts Lab, Teachers College, Columbia University; guitar faculty, Turtle Bay Music School; head of music program, Maine Teen Camp; teaching artist for Midori & Friends. Prep Center faculty since 2007.
I started lessons at 15.
I was always pretty good about practice. I always made sure that I listened to good music and good performers to inspire me.
Hearing the classical guitarist John Williams. That is what made me want to study classical guitar—the beauty of sound and the ability to play polyphonic music on guitar.
For different age groups I utilize different method books. For the very young I use methods that start with a number system and ease into the theory and reading stuff. For ages nine and up, I usually bypass the number system and get into basic note reading.
I have had students get into Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, and Berklee College of Music.
To be well-rounded musicians and to have an appreciation for all types of music.
Be proactive in the process, reinforce practice, and listen to music together.
I enjoy watching students grow, work through challenges, and know they are acquiring a skill that will lead to a lifetime of enjoyment!
Rob Garcia has toured worldwide, including most of Europe, China, Korea, Israel, Turkey, Bahrain, Canada, and the United States. Venues include Jazz at Lincoln Center, Winter Jazz Fest, Celebrate Brooklyn, Vision Festival, The Town Hall, London Jazz Festival, The Ottawa Jazz Festival, The Toronto Jazz Festival, The Kingston Jazz Festival, The Blue Note (NYC, Napa, Beijing) Birdland, Iridium, Kitano, Smalls, and Firehouse 12. Teaching: Brooklyn College Preparatory Center, New York Jazz Workshop, Poly Prep Country Day School Conservatory, NY Hot Jazz Camp, Brooklyn Music Factory, Berkeley-Carroll School, NYC Public Schools, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, and The British International School of New York. Garcia has delivered masterclasses in the United States and Europe, and has performed in more than 150 school assemblies organized by Lincoln Center, Arts Horizon, and Brooklyn Arts Council. Performed/Recorded with: Joe Lovano, Sheila Jordan, Dave Liebman, Wynton Marsalis, Joseph Jarman, Catherine Russell, Noah Preminger, Anat Cohen, Kris Davis, Dan Tepfer, Kate McGarry, Woody Allen, Howard Alden, Lynne Arriale, John Benitez, John Bunch, Chris Cheek, Daniel Kelly, The Ghost Train Orchestra, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, Diana Krall, Myra Melford, The Kronos Quartet, Ben Monder, Donny McCaslin, Marty Erhlich, Jerome Richardson, Reggie Workman, Bob Berg, Ken Peplowski, Scott Robinson, Howard Johnson, Sonny Fortune, Bruce Barth, Wycliffe Gordon, Chris Potter, and many more. Recordings: Played on more than 70 albums, including Grammy winners. Released nine critically acclaimed albums as a bandleader (Fresh Sound Records, Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records) and five as a co-leader.
Performances: Solo performances at Carnegie Hall (USA), Salle Erard (Paris), Teatro Del Sale (Florence), Great Romantics Festival (Canada), Koskiusco Foundation, Ukranian Cultural Center, Polish Embassy, etc. Broadcasts: WNYC “Mid-day Music”, WQXR “Reflections from the Keyboard” Awards: Winner Franz Liszt International Piano Competition (Los Angeles) Recordings: Chopin: 24 Etudes (Arabesque Records), Music of Liszt (Cala Records), Schubert, Chopin and Liszt (Arabesque Records), Romantic Favorites (Arabesque Records), Matthew Cameron, Pianist (Arabesque Records) Publications: Solo piano transcriptions of the Adagio from Khachaturian’s Spartacus (G.Schirmer), Liszt’s Les Preludes (International Music Co.), Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (International Music Co.) Faculty: Prep Center since 2016, Summit Music Festival since 2016.
Performances: Recital performances of the Goldina-Loumbrozo Piano Duo throughout North America, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Russia, and the Baltic states; concerto appearances with the Detroit Symphony, Pacific Symphony, New World Symphony, Symphony of the Americas, Philharmonic Orchestra of Florida, and Latvian National Symphonic Orchestra. Lecture-Recitals: Throughout the United States. Broadcasts: Radio France, BBC, Television Polynesie, WVIA – Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, KUSC-Los Angeles, KSJN-Minnesota Public Radio. Recordings: Aaron Copland’s complete works for one piano, four hands, and two pianos; American Music for Two Pianos: John Corigliano and Ned Rorem; French Music for Two Pianos; Arianna Goldina and Remy Loumbrozo Play Liszt. Awards: Winner of five international duo-piano competitions, including First Prize, Second Dranoff International 2 Piano Competition, and First Prize, Seventh Valentino Bucchi Two Piano International Competition. Adjudicator: American Liszt Society, International Concert Alliance, the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and the Seventh Dranoff International 2 -Piano Competition. Education: Ph.D., piano performance, New York University; M.M., The Juilliard School of Music; diploma in performance, summa cum laude, Latvian State Conservatory; piano studies with Herbert Stessin and Martin Canin. Former faculty positions: French-American Conservatory of Music, Roosa School of Music, New York University, The Juilliard School of Music. Current faculty positions: Adjunct-lecturer, Moravian College, since 1999; Prep Center since 2008.
I was six years old.
My parents saw that I was mesmerized by music and enrolled me in a local community music school. My teachers there noticed my ability and insisted that I audition for the special music school for gifted children. I was accepted and studied there until my graduation from high school. From there, my path led me to the Latvian State Conservatory and The Juilliard School of Music.
Each child is unique in his or her abilities and interests. I always adjust my approach to teaching students so as to nurture and support each child’s very special individual qualities to allow everyone to reach his or her full potential and shine.
Yes. My students have won statewide competitions at the MTNA New York State Piano Performance Competition, MTNA Pennsylvania Composition Competition, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Young Classical Artists Competition, and Penn State’s Maria Garcia Piano Competition, and local competitions at Achievement Awards Auditions (Pennsylvania) and Mid-Winter Musicales (New York). I have had students accepted into music programs at Manhattan School of Music (pre-college and college divisions), Mannes School of Music (pre-college), Ithaca College (college division), University of Wisconsin at Madison (graduate school), and the Conservatory of Music of Brooklyn College (graduate school). Some students have been accepted into non-music programs, but continued to take piano lessons, at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, University of Chicago, Georgetown University, and Lehigh University. My students have also performed in major venues, such as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Musikfest (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania), and WVIA radio.
The most important goal is to instill in each student a lifelong love of music and the ability to express himself or herself through playing an instrument. Whether or not students pursue a career in music, music should always remain an important part of their lives, a source of joy and happiness.
Piano playing is a skill that needs to be honed on a regular basis. Make practicing part of your children’s daily routine (e.g., always practice before doing homework), encourage them to listen to music at home, participate in music-related activities at school, and support their studies at the Prep Center.
Recitals: Throughout the United States and Europe, including, in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, St. Peter’s Church, Riverside Church, the Museum of the City of New York, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Library, and, in Italy, La Rocca di Stellata, Villa Spisani, Teatro Versi, and Pallazzo Benincasa. Televised performance: WKRC Cincinnati. Soloist: With the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Symphony, Springfield Symphony, and the Bowling Green Symphony Orchestra. Top prizes: National Federation of Music Club Young Artists Awards; American Music Scholarships Association Competition, University of Cincinnati. Publication: Brahms’ Poetic Character Pieces: Eight Clavierstucke, Opus 76. Education: M.M., B.M. piano performance with assistantship, Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts; teaching assistant to Jerome Rose; piano studies with Mary Lou Krosnick, Audley Wasson, Robert Wynne, Elizabeth Cobb, Vincent Corrigan (harpsichord), and Jerome Rose. Full scholarship: Royal Academy of Music (London). Master classes: with Samuel Sanders, The Juilliard School; Lorin Hollander, Leon Fleischer, and Menahem Pressler. Former faculty positions: International Keyboard Institute and Festival, Mannes College of Music, College of New Rochelle, Bergen Community College, College of Musical Arts at BGSU, Brooklyn Music School, Roosa School of Music. Current faculty position: Prep Center since 1997.
As I am told, I could sing before I could talk—singing along with a music box and in perfect key. Being born into a family of musicians, this fact was taken quite seriously. My father was a violinist and had a beautiful tenor voice. He encouraged me to sing and to improvise on the piano until lessons in voice and piano began at age five. Soon I was playing music with the entire family.
My first musical memories are very strong and exceptionally early in my life—captivation at my first introduction to the sound of the piano, and recordings of Arthur Rubinstein playing some of the great piano concerti. Very powerful memories.
Developing technique, sight-reading skills, and musicality; exposure to varying repertoire; the nurturing of a basic love of music; and, above all, a very strong foundation in the use of the piano as a tool for expression.
Some of my students were finalists and semifinalists in the International Keyboard Institute and Festival Competition, and the Dorothy MacKenzie Artist Recognition Scholarship Awards, New York City, and won second place in the New Piano Stars Competition at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music in Glasgow, Scotland. Others have been accepted, some with scholarship, to the Conservatory of Music of Brooklyn College, Baldwin Wallace Conservatory (Cleveland), Mannes College of Music, Oberlin College, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the Crane School of Music – SUNY Potsdam, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music (Glasgow), Birmingham Conservatoire (England), Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague. In New York, many of my students have won auditions and attended music programs at Mark Twain, Bay Academy, Boody School of Arts, Middle School 51, Edward R. Murrow High School, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Professional Performing Arts School, Special Music School at the Kaufman Music Center, and LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts.Notable concert halls where students have performed are Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, and Merkin Hall. Students have won auditions and scholarships to the Eastern U.S. Music Camp at Colgate University, the Luzerne Music Center, and the Interlochen Arts Academy (Michigan).
Several concerts come to mind as the highlights of my career. To be so well received—standing ovations!—in large halls by such enthusiastic audiences is truly exhilarating.
Chamber music performances: In Lithuania, Russia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, New York, and Washington, D.C. Accompanist: At M.K. Ciurlionis Art Gymnasium, Lithuanian Music Academy, and Vilnius Philharmonic Society, all in Lithuania, and Special Music School and Lucy Moses School, in New York. Organist, choir director and piano coach for piano studio: St. Augustine Episcopal Church, Brooklyn, New York. Education: Piano studies at Vilnius Conservatoire and Lithuanian Music Academy (Vilnius). Former faculty position: Vilnius Conservatoire. Current faculty position: Prep Center since 2009.
I was born into a musical family. My father was a conductor/music educator, and my older sister is a pianist/composer, so it was natural that I started to play piano at home at a very early age.
I started piano lessons at the local music school when I was six years old.
Of course not! My grandmother, who always was at home, was in charge to make sure that I practiced constantly every day, and my father coached me once in a while, emphasizing the musical side of the practicing, trying to make the routine more creative than tedious.
Whatever level or age of students I teach, my approach is generally the same: to make them understand that playing piano is a pleasure—physical, mental, and emotional. Practicing is an intriguing process rather than tedious work, and playing an instrument can bring a lifetime of satisfaction and joy.
To reach the top level of playing the piano and understand the music, considering each student’s abilities.
To create an environment for their children in which they could practice the piano constantly, that it could become a daily and enjoyable routine, but at the same time not to over push or to make it undesirable routine. Appreciate the music!
Recital and concerto appearances: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, and Romania. Broadcasts: WQXR, NPR, WBAI, WFLN-Philadelphia, and RAI-Italy. Awards and prizes: London Symphony Orchestra Foundation Grant, Queen’s Commendation for Excellence, Broadwood Trust Scholarship, International Young Concert Artists Competition of Royal Tunbridge (Wells, United Kingdom), International Mozart Competition (Salzburg, Austria), New York Chopin Foundation Competition, Bergen Philharmonic Competition, Manhattan School of Music Concerto Competition, National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artists Awards. Adjudicator: Hong Kong HKSMSA Festival; special music school juries; LaGuardia High School Concerto Competition; Juilliard Pre-College Concerto Competiton; New York Music Competition; Associated Music Teachers League Auditions. Education: D.M.A., Manhattan School of Music; Dip. R.A.M., Royal Academy of Music, London; M.M., The Juilliard School; B.M., summa cum laude, University of Maryland; piano studies with Sascha Gorodnitzki, Christopher Elton, Solomon Mikowsky, Donn-Alexandre Feder, and Nelita True. Master classes: SMU, UTSA, New World School of the Arts, Colchester Institute (United Kingdom), Gheorghe Dima Academy (Romania). Fellowships: Hodgson and Meaker Fellowships, RAM (London) and Teaching and Opera Coaching Fellowships, The Juilliard School. Former faculty positions: Manhattan School of Music, Interlochen Arts Camp. Current faculty positions: The Juilliard School Evening Division, Prep Center since 1985.
My mother played the piano and played recordings of piano music at home, taught kids at a school on Saturdays, and held chamber music rehearsals in the house.
Five with my mother, six more formally.
I didn’t like or dislike it, but couldn’t sit more than 45 minutes alone until the age of 11.
I had no idea about being prepared. I just practiced all the things on the list and played through old pieces to fill up the time. My first teacher died, so I spent several months without a teacher and went through the books on my own. I wouldn’t let my mother help, but we played duets together.
Performing in my teacher’s soirée the first time and sliding under the piano at the end (in lieu of a bow). Also, accompanying my first tenor (who later became a house tenor at the Met) in a vocal piece at the age of seven.
With young kids, I prefer more simple rote imitation and turn-taking, and less explanation. Sometimes kids are frightened by the teacher’s voice or by rhythmic clapping. Older kids and adults prefer to talk.
Four finalists and two honorable mentions at the IYAPC international competition in Washington, D.C.; many performers at Weill Hall, Steinway Hall, and Merkin Hall; soloists with orchestras in New Jersey and the United Kingdom; winners in the Brooklyn All-City Competition; several students at Mark Twain and LaGuardia music programs, Manhattan School of Music, Stony Brook, and Cincinnati Conservatory (full scholarship).
Literacy, listening skills, strong rhythm, phrasing, and understanding composers and styles.
Be present to support them and let them know how well they play, but compliment their practicing only when it is top quality.
Meeting all sorts of people and watching them enjoy musical success.
Performance on the big stage at Carnegie Hall, Brahms Concerto No. 2 in Poland, master class in Transylvania, and four recordings for Arabesque/iTunes/Amazon.
A native of Odessa, Ukraine, Violetta Zabbi is an accomplished pianist, educator, conductor, and coach. For the 16 years she has been living in New York, Zabbi has been involved in hundreds of opera projects with various companies. She is currently on the music faculties of Adelphi University and Brooklyn College. Zabbi is also currently the music director and conductor of Vocal Production NYC, New York Opera Studio, Delaware Valley Opera and the NYOS Opera Advantage Training Program. She often appears as a pianist and coach with Regina Opera, Hofstra University, and Opera Manhattan Repertoire. For the past two seasons she has performed with DCINY International at various stages, including Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. Prep Center since 2018.
Performances: 50 years of string chamber music, including at 15 colleges across the United States, libraries across the tri-state region, recitals at NYC Bar Association, and concerts with harmonica virtuoso Jia-Yi He. Concertos at Cincinnati Congress of Strings and Indiana University. Solo vocalist at Tenri Cultural Center, Tilles Center, LeFrak Hall, and Bennington College. Conductor at LaGuardia HS and National Choral Festival. Alt-folk fiddling with The Moon And You at N.C. Stage in Asheville, all-Beethoven recital with Scott Faigen at Atikva Tsentr, Kiev. Contemporary music projects with composer/pianist Leonard Lehrman, live and on YouTube. Televised: WQED, WNYE Publications: “For a Well-Stocked Studio, Look Within…”, MEANYC Crescendo Education: B.M. with high honors in violin, Indiana University/Bloomington; M.F.A. in Chamber Music (violin, viola, and voice) Sarah Lawrence College; M.S.Ed. in K–12 Instrumental Music Education, Queens College (CUNY); Suzuki Violin 2-year Teacher Training, School for Strings Awards: National Merit Scholarship, CUNY Academic Excellence Award Adjudication: NYSSMA, All-State Orchestra, Queens College CPSM Former faculty positions: 51st Avenue Academy (Q877), Queens College Center for Preparatory Studies in Music, British International School, Kiev Current positions: Calderone School of Music, Scarsdale Strings, Touro College (Education and Fine Arts), Prep Center since 2019.
Soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and recording artist in Bulgaria, Russia, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, France, England, United States. Performances: Sofia Philharmonic; Varna Philharmonic; Plovdiv Philharmonic; Moscow Chamber Orchestra; Cantus Firmus; Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra; Manhattan Virtuosi Orchestra. Finalist: C.W. Post Chamber Music Festival Concerto Competition. Ensembles: The Forte String Quartet; New York Empire Trio. Awards: Chancellor’s Award, Cultural Achievement Award, grant, Artist Fund of the New York Foundation for the Arts. Recordings: Gega New and MSR Classics. Education: M.Mus., Brooklyn College; M.M., State Music Academy, Bulgaria; B.M., Academy of Music and Dance Arts, Bulgaria. Former faculty positions: Adelphi University; SUNY, Long Island Conservatory; Brooklyn College Conservatory. Current positions: Prep Center faculty since 1997.
Performances: In Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Spain, and the United States; violinist: Plovdiv State Philharmonic and Opera Theater, Stara Zagora State Opera, AMDA Chamber Orchestra, Brooklyn College Orchestra, Manhattan Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble du Monde, Forte String Quartet, Bulgarian Piano Quartet, Trio “BG.” Broadcasts: Bulgarian National Television and Radio, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, WNYC-New York. Education: M.Mus., Brooklyn College; M.M., B.M., Academy of Music and Dance Art (Bulgaria); violin studies with Masao Kawasaki. Former faculty positions: Rondo Music Festival (Vermont), Brooklyn College String Project, P.S. 58 String Program. Current faculty position: Prep Center since 2006.
Violin and viola.
I had a friend in kindergarten who was taking violin lessons, and I became interested.
I was in first grade.
I always loved to practice. My grandparents would sit and listen. My grandpa danced to some songs and I would laugh. A friend of mine would come over and we would practice together. It was my fun time!
I was the first chair of the children’s string orchestra.
For younger students, it’s more imitating and learning by ear. For older students, I insist on an understanding of notation, technique, and theory.
I had a number of students accepted to Mark Twain Middle School, La Guardia High School, and Edward R. Murrow High School. Some were competition winners; some entered chamber music programs and summer camps. Still others performed as soloists with the Brooklyn Youth Orchestra.
To build excellent instrumental skills, and to be able to fully enjoy performing and making music.
Consistency in practice—not a long time, but every day.
I enjoy teaching music and working with kids.
Winning first prize in Bulgaria’s National Violin Competition and second prize in the 14 Violin Competition in “D. Chintulov,” Music School, Bulgaria; receiving the 2002–03 Dean Warren Schuyler Violin Scholarship for Outstanding Achievements at Brooklyn College.
Performances: Fine Arts Quartet, String Quintets, Ensemble Intercontemporaine, Meininger Hopkapelle (Germany), New York Symphonic Ensemble. Education: M.M., Mannes College of Music; Master’s Program in Applied Music and Music Teaching (anticipated), Lehman College (CUNY); B.M., The Juilliard School of Music; suzuki pedagogical training, School for Strings; Violin Method Certificate, Mark O’Connor; violin studies with Rafael Druian and Ida Haendel; viola studies with Yuri Bashmet and Heidi Castleman; chamber music studies with Felix Galimir and the Juilliard Quartet. Faculty positions: Violin teacher, Third Street Music Settlement Miles Program; Harmony Program CUNY; Long Island University; Manheim Hochshule (Germany); Prep Center since 2011.
One of my friends had a neighbor who suggested playing the violin because it was a lot of fun.
I had to because I wanted to play like the guys on the LPs.
Playing several concerts for people and afterwards their coming to greet me and congratulate me.
I try to see what are their strengths and what areas need more work. Although I try to make it fun, it is important for students to realize that learning and practicing are very important not only for playing the violin, but also in anything that is of value in life.
Yes, they have been accepted to universities and other music programs.
To learn to appreciate the work the performer has to go through before a performance, how lucky they are to share something unique with others, and how the skills they learn on the violin can attribute to their success in life.
I try to explain to their children why the violin is such a great way to learn skills for their future development, how playing an instrument opens the door for their success later in life, and how gratifying it is to be able to play and share it with others.
Embarking on a journey of discovery and appreciation with the students.
Performances: Cello and Suzuki cello in the United States, Italy, Germany, Ukraine, and China. Education: B.Mus., M.Mus., Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College; studied with Vladimir Panteleyev; Suzuki Certification at the School for Strings with Pamela Devenport. Faculty positions: Lucy Moses School; Prep Center since 2014.
I grew up listening to a lot of classical music with my dad. Because I was so interested in what I was listening to, I kept asking my parents for music lessons starting at an early age.
I started learning piano first, at age six. Then I started cello lessons after my elementary orchestra teacher told my parents that I would benefit from one-on-one instruction.
There are too many to choose from!
I feel that every lesson is catered to the individual, regardless of age and level. If someone has a learning style that benefits them most, it is better to work with a method that they can grow with.
To grow to the best of their abilities while continuing to enjoy music. I do think that consciousness of what they are playing and how they move is very important.
Parents always need to remember that every child is an individual. They will move at their own pace, and it is our job as influential adults to help them to develop into their best selves with everything they do.
I love the challenge of figuring out what makes a person tick. Every student is like a puzzle that a teacher has to try to fit together. You can’t force the pieces together, but instead you have to wait until you find the ones that do. The look on a student’s face when they play and everything comes together and they know it is always worth the wait.
Performances: With Vladimir Philharmonic, Gubernatorski Symphony Orchestra, Adelphi University Symphony Orchestra, Mannes College Symphony Orchestra, Bronx Symphony Orchestra, and Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Education: M.M., Gorky Conservatory; Professional Instrument Diploma, Vladimir College of Music; violin studies with Lazar Gantman and Polina Brill. Former faculty positions: Vladimir College of Music, Taneev Music School, Island of Music School, Shostakovich School of Music, LISMA Long Island Conservatory. Current faculty positions: Hamilton-Madison House, Jewish Community Center, Prep Center since 2012.
My parents brought me to music school when I was seven (my dad was a professional musician).
I had to be prepared for my lessons, but I did not always like to practice.
I currently have students at Mark Twain and LaGuardia.
To love, support, encourage, and praise them.
We keep smiling and have fun!
Performances: At Yankee Stadium for Pope Benedict, the White House for President Bush, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Kennedy Center, Boston Lyric Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Iowa, Pittsburgh Opera, Utah Opera Festival, Aspen Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Northeast, Mendelssohn Glee Choir, Catskills Glee Choir, Boston Lyric Opera, Aspen Opera, Boston University Opera Institute, Des Moines Metro Opera, Pittsburgh Opera Center, Opera Iowa, Alea III, Opera Orchestra of New York, Opera Northeast, Manhattan Opera, Virginia Opera, and Utah Festival Opera, as well as for the president and minister of culture of Costa Rica and in South Korea. Finalist: Metropolitan Opera. Education: M.M., Boston University; B.A., Peabody Conservatory; recipient, Lammont Belin Scholarship. Former faculty positions: Henry Street Settlement, La Guardia Community College (CUNY), Berkshire Choral Festival, Choir Academy of Harlem, Arts Alive Summer Gifted Program, Lucy Moses School of Music. Current faculty positions: Pennsylvania Counsel for the Arts, National Council Senior Center, Kathryn Brickell Music School, Prep Center since 2012.
I teach students of all ages and levels. Teaching young children vocally differs from teaching teenagers and adults. These differences are based primarily upon physical development. However, one fundamental approach is to make sure that at every age and level, students are learning to use their voices in a healthy way. This will ensure their ability to develop their voice without encountering physical problems at any point during their development. Of course, in addition, with older students, it is possible to have bigger goals and work in a more detailed method.
I have had many students who have been admitted to performing arts schools and colleges.
The most important goal for my students is to understand what they are being taught and be able to bring the understanding to their home practice. They can then practice with the confidence that they are working in the right way.
As an experienced and accomplished performer, I am so pleased to be able to teach voice students all that I have learned.
Performances: Chamber music at Stern Auditorium and Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts; Smithsonian Institution; Atlanta Arts Festival; Oklahoma Mozart Festival; Chautauqua Institution; concerts in 46 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Virgin Islands; concerto soloist with El Paso Symphony Orchestra; former member of the U.S. Air Force Band, Washington, D.C.; Broadcasts: Today Show, A Prairie Home Companion, Voice of America, WQXR, WNYC, and WETA. Recordings: Three on BMG and one on BMG-Japan with Richard Stoltzman. Education: B.M., Sam Houston State University; clarinet studies with Kalmen Opperman, Leon Russianoff, and Richard Picker. Current faculty position: Prep Center since 2000.
Clarinet and saxophone.
I was playing clarinet without instruction for many years and thought I should have a teacher.
My father taught me to read music when I was six, and then he gave me a clarinet with a fingering chart. My cousin pointed out a few mistakes at times, and my father gave me music he had picked up from Southern Music Company.
Always. I always had the instrument with me.
From the start of fifth grade, I played in the Junior Youth Orchestra of San Antonio for three years.
Children have different capabilities. I give children an incentive to improve, but their abilities and amount of practice dictate the pace.
Every student who has auditioned for Mark Twain or LaGuardia while studying with me has been accepted. One who majored in music in college now teaches music in a Bay Ridge public school.
To improve as players and to become organized, to arrive punctually and prepared with teaching materials and instruments in good condition, and to be honest about practice habits.
Practice at least some time every day, and don’t run out of reeds.
It makes me think about the instrument in new ways.
Working with Richard Stoltzman on four BMG recordings, recitals at Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium, and studying with Kalmen Opperman.
Michele Smith is a versatile flutist who plays a wide variety of styles, including jazz, classical, experimental, tango, Latin, and Brazilian music. She is currently a member of various groups: La Familia; the T. Ericson Ensemble based in Berlin; and different jazz ensembles. She has performed with several off-Broadway productions, The New Jersey Ballet, Dada New York, and Village Playback Theater. Smith has a flute performance degree from Kent State University and a master’s in musicology from Brooklyn College. She continued her classical flute training with Robert Langevin, principal flute, New York Philharmonic; and currently works with Vassilis Kyriakou, former flutist of the National Symphony Orchestra. Her jazz mentors include Barry Harris, Billy Harper, Patience Higgins, and Arturo O’Farrill, among others. She has been teaching all levels of flute, using a combination of Suzuki and traditional methods, and beginning piano for more than 30 years.
Cinda Eatock is a locally and internationally trained and qualified dance and theater practitioner, performer, scholar, and teacher. Her approach to the arts, which includes Embodied Knowledge Systems, physical theater, and dance, not only is part of a skill set for performance but is also a medium to create and nurture an informed holistic performer. Her teaching style is a collaborative one borne out of her expertise in directing workshop environments. She welcomes all students to bring as much creativity and enthusiasm to each class in every way. Eatock attended the Musical Theatre Conservatory Program at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, New York. She holds an honour’s degree in drama and a bachelor’s in film directing from Wits University, South Africa. She also has a Master of Arts degree in dramatic arts, and extensive knowledge of the Cecily Berry and Linkletter Method, Laban, Alexander, Growtowski, and Artaud. She is the recipient of the 2004 Naledi Award for Best Original Work in South Africa and the Lead SA Changemaker Award: Hero of the Year in 2015.
Hasan Ozcan endeavors to build upon the Preparatory Center’s four decades of history, expertise, and presence in a vital intersection of communities in Brooklyn with contemporary initiatives that reflect the diverse range of Brooklyn College’s arts curricula. In his first year as director, Ozcan launched composition lessons that focus on exploring new technologies, created a filmmaking program, and designed concerts that highlight interdisciplinary collaboration, all aligned with the objective of exposing varying areas of the performing arts to students of all ages and backgrounds. His Open House initiative enabled the Prep Center to establish crucial connections with hundreds of schools all over Brooklyn.
Ozcan received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, and earned another bachelor’s degree from Turkey’s Ege University’s School of Economics and Administrative Sciences. His focus on youth-centered nonprofit work originates from his time at the Local Agenda 21 Youth Council in Gemlik, Turkey, where he utilized a series of local, national, and international grants to create and lead numerous programs and student exchanges, mobilizing local youth in underserved communities on international platforms via the arts and sports.
A lyric baritone, Ozcan continues to perform operatic roles as well as new music. At Brooklyn College, he initiated and co-founded the Musical Theater Collective which continues to produce sold-out shows on campus and performed in a series of children’s operas by Brooklyn-based composers prior to taking over the role of director at the Preparatory Center. Ozcan studied with Edwin Lubin and Monica Harte and has performed the roles of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Silvio in Pagliacci, Valentin in Faust, Marullo in Rigoletto, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Il Conte in Le Nozze di Figaro, Dancaïro in Carmen, Peter in Hänsel und Gretel, and Falke in Die Fledermaus, among others.