Any dedicated student can learn to play the piano. Tailoring the course of study to each student along with assuring a strong foundation in technique, musical understanding and style, analysis and a trusting student-teacher relationship are the keys to a rewarding musical experience in my studio.
Having studied with teachers who studied with such legends as Edwin Fischer, Alfred Cortot, Moriz Moszkowski, Arthur Benjamin, Cecile Genhart and Leo Weiner, my teaching approach is understandably influenced both musically and technically by these great artists as well by my own teachers. It is with a diverse background, including an incessant desire to continue to learn, that I give my students a strong and well rounded musical education. I have taught independently since 1983.
Gyorgy Sebok was one of my greatest influences. Every lesson I had with him was in a masterclass format, whether it was in Banff, Victoria, or Ernen, Switzerland. Learning as a performer and as an active listener has been equally fulfilling. As a student, I have had the extraordinary opportunity to participate in masterclasses given by Menachem Pressler, John Perry, Vlado Perlemuter, Paul Badura-Skoda, Gary Graffman, John Browning, Joseph Kalichstein, and Kendall Taylor. As a professional, I have given master classes often through many of the music teachers’ associations, at the VSO School of Music where I initiated the masterclass series, and independently for students as well as for experienced music teachers.
LECTURES AND LECTURE RECITALS
Exploring the inner meanings of musical works through demonstration has been a very gratifying way of reaching out to audiences. Some of the topics I have explored through lecture-recitals include:
“Schools of Piano Technique”
“Music of the Romantics”
“Schumann Fantasy in C, Opus 17 – Influences of Ludwig van Beethoven and Clara Wieck”
“Chopin’s Prelude Opus 45 and Bach’s Italian Concerto”
“The French Piano School”
“Performance Practices in Claude Debussy’s Piano Music”
“The Debussy Preludes – Books I and II” (in 4 lectures)
CHAMBER GROUP COACHING
My passion for playing chamber music, first instilled in me by my teacher, Artur Balsam, naturally draws me to want to share this unique experience with my students. The value of playing with others, sharing ideas, breathing as one, having the flexibility to wander into another player’s phrasing and the pure joy of making music with another instrumentalist is so enriching in so many ways. Sonatas, piano trios, piano quartets and quintets…there is so much music to explore. Coaching ensembles is another of the many facets of how I share my musical expertise.
You can hear some of my live performances here - I have performed as soloist, recitalist and in chamber ensembles on many recital and concert series in Canada, the US, England, and Switzerland. Locally, I have appeared as guest artist on many series including Music in the Morning, Chutzpah! Festival - 41st Avenue Revue, Coast Recital Society, Pro Nova Ensemble Series, Vancouver Queen Elizabeth Playhouse/Richmond Gateway Theatre Coffee Concerts, Chemainus Classical Concerts, Silk Purse, Silverman Concert Series, The Victoria Conservatory of Music Summer Piano Academy, and The Vancouver Philharmonic Series. Some of my performing highlights include performing with cellist, Lynn Harrell, as well as under the baton of composer, John Cage, while in residence at the Banff Centre for Performing Arts.
Listening to students in festival settings and evaluating their musicianship and technical skills is one aspect of adjudicating. But perhaps the most important part of that setting is giving students advice on how to improve, how to explore further, and to give words of encouragement. Some of the many festivals I have adjudicated for include:
Music Teachers’ Association Music Festival - Houston, Texas
Clef Society of Burnaby Music Festival
BCRMTA – Vancouver Branch Performer’s Guild
BCRMTA – Maple Ridge Branch Music Festival
BCRMTA – South Fraser Branch Music Festival
BCRMTA – North Shore Branch Music Festival
BC Conservatory of Music Festival
Richmond Community Music School - Mock Exams
“Carla’s knowledge of the biomechanics of playing, coupled with her deep knowledge of how students learn, and an active interest in isolating patterns to overcome limitations have enabled me to play music that I had previously deemed too difficult for me.”