Share |

Neil Stannard, D.M.A.

Los Angeles CA | 90041

About me

I have performed often as soloist and collaborative pianist, appearing with artists of international distinction in all 48 of the contiguous United States, across Canada and in many of the world's important concert centers from New York City to Moscow, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Vienna’s Musikverein, Berlin’s Hochschule and Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. I have appeared in concert at state dinners in the White House and the State Department and in such festivals as Great Performers at Lincoln Center, the Berlin Festival, the Vienna Festival, Tage Neue Musik (Bonn), Marlboro and the Newport Festival.

Graduating cum laude from the University of Southern California (Bach. of Mus.), where I was a scholarship student, I accepted a Naumberg scholarship to play double bass at the Juilliard School (M.S.), during which time I performed with Leopold Stokowski and Pablo Casals. It was also during this time that I made my New York recital debut at Carnegie Recital Hall as a pianist. Later, I studied piano on a German government grant at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, completed a doctorate in piano at the University of Arizona and for 13 years taught graduate and undergraduate piano at the University of Texas at El Paso, where I was a tenured professor.

My principal teachers include Muriel Kerr, Jacob Gimpel and John Crown (Los Angeles), Gerhard Puchelt (Berlin), Edna Golandsky (New York) and Nicholas Zumbro (U of AZ). I am well versed in Dorothy Taubman’s research on piano technique, which I learned from her and her associate, Edna Golandsky, and have made it my own. I now teach privately in Los Angeles (Eagle Rock).

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

It is possible to play the piano with ease, without pain or discomfort and with the confidence that a given passage will in performance sound as planned. This is why I say that playing the piano is easy and doesn’t hurt. By easy I mean physically easy, not that one doesn’t exert mental effort in the working-out stage. Though, even the working-out becomes easier as understanding increases.

My approach is diagnostic. Each student brings with him or her a unique background and a different set of problems. Even though the anatomy of the playing apparatus is identical in every student, with the exceptions of variances in size, each student’s understanding of how to use that apparatus can be quite different. This is why I make use of proven principles of movement that correspond to the nature of the body, principles that are easily demonstrated and absorbed by any student. I show students how to use their hands in the way they were designed to be used so that they can focus on making music, not on how to play notes.

Here are two important thoughts to take with you now: 1) There is no mystery regarding piano technique; there are solutions to virtually any problem and 2) If a passage feels difficult or you don’t trust it, even though it sounds wonderful, it hasn’t been completely solved.

Which moves me to say a word about practicing. Once underlying principles of movement have been absorbed, they can be applied to any technical problem. In fact, it will become possible to just look at a score and know immediately what fingerings, hand positions, shapes and other movements will provide the best solutions. Which means that the specific movements can be studied first and only then repeated, or worked-in. This approach is far more successful and efficient than merely repeating passages over and over again in what is aptly referred to as mindless rote.

Specialties

I accept serious students of all ages and levels, including seniors. Piano, collaborative arts and vocal coaching are the primary topics covered in my studio, as well as relevant music theory and history. My particular expertise is in SOLVING TECHNICAL PROBLEMS:

• UNTANGLE MYTHS AND OLD WIVES’ TALES
• PLAYING THE PIANO IS EASY AND DOESN’T HURT
• A PIANO LESSON IS NOT NECESSARILY A PERFORMANCE
• SOLVE TECHNICAL PROBLEMS IN MUSIC YOU WANT TO PLAY
• MAKE LEAPS WITHOUT SEEMING TO MOVE
• LEARN HOW NOT TO BE ENSLAVED TO THE NOTATION
• LEARN HOW TO PLAY FAST WHILE FEELING UNHURRIED
• PLAY DOUBLE NOTES S FLUENTLY
• SLOW PRACTICE? HOW SLOW?
• WHAT IS A NATURAL, EFFICIENT HAND POSITION?

Lesson details

Lessons are 60 minutes ($75), 45 minutes ($60) or 30 minutes ($45), depending on the level of the student and the available practice time.

Education and Accreditation

University of Southern California, Bach. of Mus.
The Juilliard School, MS
Hochschule fur Musik und darstellende Kunst, Berlin (two years post-graduate; no degree)
University of Arizona, DMA

I regularly adjudicate the Southwest Youth Music Festival, Bach Festivals and Contemporary Festivals

I am a member of the Music Teachers Association of California, the College Music Society, Pi Kappa Lambda (honorary music fraternity) and phi mu alpha.

Testimonials

Experience

more than 20 years

Rates

$40 - $49

Availability

Hours are flexible.

Teaching location

Teachers Studio

Genre

Chamber Music
Classical
Modern

Instruments and Subjects

double bass
piano

Levels taught

Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced

Type of students

Children
Young Adults
Adults
Seniors

Languages

English
German

Javascript is required to view this map.