Category Archives: education

oso education in action

I’m so proud of my colleagues, who, with the help of the Oregon Community Foundation and others, are bringing in-depth music education to the David Douglas School District. Check out the recently released video below and prepare to smile!

things my coaches taught me – part one


Leon Fleisher

Over the years, I’ve had a good many really fine – and some extraordinary – musical coaches, teachers, and mentors. As I was practicing today, one of their bits of sage advice popped into my brain, and I’ve interrupted my D major/minor scale and arpeggios practice to share it with you. This one comes courtesy of the great pianist and teacher and coach Leon Fleisher. I studied at the¬†Peabody Conservatory, where he’s taught for over 50 years (he began teaching at the Peabody in 1959), for two years, but didn’t get the opportunity¬†to play for him until I was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in the Berkshires of western Massachesetts. We were working on Brahms’ great g minor Piano Quartet, when he suddenly stopped us and demanded

“Are you making that choice out of convenience, or out of conviction?”

When the ensuing pregnant pause didn’t give birth to an answer, he said “that’s what I thought!”. It’s a question that I ask myself all the time. As an orchestral musician, where one is learning new repertoire virtually every week – often multiple programs – the answer is often one of convenience. It’s a shame, because when one makes musical decisions based upon personal conviction, the resulting musical product is ever so much more compelling.

portland summer ensembles

This program for young musicians is simply incredible. This year’s session runs from July 14 – 19, 2014 at Marylhurst University, near Portland, Oregon. If you have a talented young musician (aged 10 – 18) in your life, encourage them to apply – the deadline is January 13th, 2014.

The workshop will give students the opportunity to play, study, and perform chamber music with other young musicians of a similar level. Students will receive instruction in a variety of aspects of ensemble music making, including practice and performance techniques, and other activities designed to enhance the art of ensemble playing. Each day includes chamber ensemble rehearsals, movement and rhythm classes, coachings, master classes with the outstanding Portland Summer Ensembles faculty and guest artists. The workshop will take place on the beautiful Marylhurst University campus, located 10 miles from downtown Portland, Oregon.

Information and applications available here.