Teaching Interpretation through Aesthetic Listening
How do we train our students to hear the difference in nuances of interpretation, pacing and dynamic range? We demonstrate, describe, discuss, but ultimately we must give them their own tools to make artistic decisions. What is the difference between correct/accurate, beautiful, and exquisite, dark, joyful, and the entire range of human expression? How do you play such characters as" restless, exuberant, or feverish?" Studying performances together affords an opportunity to guide and train our students to make choices which meaningfully allow them to convey the emotional landscape of a piece. The endless possibilities afforded by YouTube, Naxos database and other online resources provide a rich library to peruse together. We will study se links to a selection of pieces and discuss how each presents a different interpretive possibility.
Vera Parkin Biography:
Vera Parkin has performed as a keyboardist in the St. Louis Symphony since 1987, participating in recordings, Carnegie Hall tours, Discovery and Pulitzer series contemporary concerts, and many Community Partnerships outreach concerts. In addition to experience as a Principal Keyboardist, she has worked in professional theater and opera, is an active and award winning pedagogue, arts administrator, chamber music and vocal coach, collaborative pianist, and teacher of theory and composition. As founding Artistic Director of the Webster Community Music School Preparatory Program, she supervises the region’s most advanced young musicians in a nationally recognized program. Vera has also taught internationally through the cultural diplomacy agencies American Voices and American-Lebanese Talent Education in Beirut, Lebanon. Vera is everybody's accompanist and friend. She has been an adjunct professor at Webster University since 2011, and is also a staff accompanist at SIUE.
“More than anything else, I am devoted to helping students develop the skills, realm of imagination, insight, personal character, and habits needed to be useful and employable in our field. I also see the tremendous role music and musicians may play in society in terms of developing needed qualities such as empathy, compassion, pursuit of beauty, and disdain for the course, crass and indifferent elements of our popular culture. I want my students to
be ambassadors for beauty and generosity of spirit, and will encourage them personally and professionally to view music as the means for distributing good will and grace in this life. ~ Vera”