John, a native of Lititz, Pennsylvania received his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Ithaca College where he studied with Dr. Charis Dimaras. He has been performing in public recitals since the age of six. While at Ithaca College, he was a finalist in the Ithaca College Concerto Competition playing George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”. In his fourth year, he was the winner of the Mary Hayes North Senior Piano Competition playing works by Mussorgsky, Scriabin, and Debussy.
While at NYU, John was selected from his studio to perform in the Piano Honors Recital alongside other distinguished colleagues. John has played in lessons and masterclasses taught by such pianists as Bernd Glemser, Jerome Rose, Jeffrey Swann, John O’Conor, Santiago Rodriguez, Claire Huangci, Mykola Suk, Eduard Zilberkant, Dmitry Rachmanov, and Gesa Lücker.
As a collaborative pianist, John has worked alongside numerous vocalists and instrumentalists in recitals and masterclasses taught by such musicians as Sharon Sweet, Margo Garrett, and J.J. Penna. While at Ithaca College, John sought to deepen his understanding of the voice, vocal collaboration, and the relevance of singing to piano technique by studying voice privately and taking three semesters of diction for singers. As an instrumental collaborator, he had the distinct pleasure of performing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata with cellist and friend Zachary Brown in a masterclass taught by Carter Brey, principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic. In the Spring of 2015, John played as part of the Ithaca College Wind Ensemble under the baton of Dr. Stephen Peterson during the ensemble’s performance at Alice Tully Hall in New York City.
John currently attends New York University and is pursuing his Master of Music in Performance, and an Advanced Certificate in Performance and Pedagogy. He is appointed as Adjunct Faculty teaching keyboarding skills class and private piano lessons to undergraduate music and non-music majors.
What will make a student learn best?
Music is as much about the individual experience as it is about the craft of music-making. Each student has vastly different life-experiences, inspirations, and aspirations. It is my responsibility as a teacher to tap into those experiences while fostering a meaningful relationship with each student. In order to learn best, a student must feel like their voice is being heard. As teachers we guide our students toward their goals through careful listening, collaboration, and adaptation.
What do you enjoy most in teaching?
My favorite moments in teaching come when a student finds true joy or accomplishment in what they are doing. Teaching can have it’s slow moments, and sometimes it feels like progress comes to a halt, but the best moments are those in which the student breaks through it all. Any struggle is worth it when a student finally grasps a concept or technique that at one point held them back. These moments are wonderful experiences that the teacher and student get to share.