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If you've ever felt at a loss as to how to achieve the excellence you would like at the piano, then take a look at this book. In this volume you will find the distillation of a life in music, a "how to" for the musician seeking joy in music-making. Here are insights into learning to play using the natural design of the body. Dispel old wives' tales and myths left over from the 18th century. Learn to make accurate leaps, to play fast without feeling hurried. What is practicing and how and why should we memorize music? And how can we put anxiety to good use? What is a good hand position and really, how slowly should I practice? Non-pianists will find information on performance anxiety, memorizing and effective practice methods, as well as insights into efficient movement applicable to other instruments. The author took part in the first Taubman Institute at Rensselaerville, NY, and though not a representative of the institute, he has participated in many, studying privately in New York for many years with Edna Golandsky.
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Unlike life, playing the piano is easy and doesn't hurt. This mantra has carried Neil Stannard through what might seem to others like several lifetimes—performing as a collaborative pianist, occasional soloist, symphony bassist and, through it all, a dedicated teacher. He took part in the first Taubman Institute at Rensselaerville, NY, and though he does not represent the Institute, he has participated in many more at Amherst, studying privately in New york with Edna Golandsky. He has performed internationally with such artists as David Shifrin, Hermann Baumann, Leona Mitchell, Eugenia Zukerman, Clamma Dale and Christiane Edinger in venues from London to Moscow, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the White house, Vienna's Muiskverein, Berlin's Hocshschule and Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. He has taken part in the Great Performers at Lincoln Center series, the Berlin Festival, the Vienna Festival, Tage Neue Musik, Marlboro and the New Port Festival. And yes, he has taught continuously through all that. After graduating cum laude from the University of Southern California, a scholarship student of Muriel Kerr, he received a Naumberg scholarship for double bass to the Juilliard School (MS), during which time he performed in the American Symphony with Leopold Stokowski and in the Marlboro Festival Orchestra with Pablo Casals (Columbia Records). It was during this time that he made his New York recital debut at Carnegie Recital Hall as a pianist with violinist Christiane Edinger. Later, he studied piano on a German government grant with Gerhard Puchelt in Berlin, completed a doctorate in piano at the University of Arizona with Nicholas Zumbro and for 13 years taught graduate and under graduate piano at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he was a tenured professor. He now lives and teaches in Los Angeles, where he plays cello in the Santa Monica Symphony.
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