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Current time:0:00Total duration:6:34

Piano (as orchestral instrument): Interview and demonstration with Kimberly Russ

Video transcript

(instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) - Playing in an orchestra is quite an educational experience for any pianist and I highly recommend it because pianists have to be so versatile. Its wonderful to be able to be a soloist and most pianists grew up dreaming of being a famous soloist. But, as most of us know that's not very realistic. And, so we have to learn to be able to make money in many different ways and that may be accompanying other soloists or teaching lessons, or playing in a large ensemble such as an orchestra. Or perhaps, accompanying maybe a chorale rehearsal. With the all star orchestra we use two keyboard instruments. There was the piano and there was the celeste. Celestes are a very special instrument. They have an interesting touch which sometimes is difficult to manage but you just have to learn how to produce the sound. Pianos tend to have an even touch along the keyboard and celestes aren't quite as even. (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) - When I was about 4 years old my grandmother in Orlando, FL had a Baldwin Acrosonic piano in her living room that she enjoyed playing hymns out of the church hymnal. I would hear her play and one day I went and picked out tunes on the keyboard and my grandmother thought, well we should have her take piano lessons. I was the first grandchild in our family and so my aunt who was a school teacher took me to the Iris Daniel Engel School of Music which was a huge southern plantation style house in Orlando. I started lessons there at five years old. From there, I studied with Iris Daniel Engel and her daughter Drucilla Engel. Then I moved over to Dr. Gary Wolf at the University of Central Florida. I continued with him during my college studies. When I decided to go back to school for my Masters degree I had been in the musical workforce for a couple years and at that point I had been teaching, accompanying, doing some solo playing, I had a diverse background. When I decided to go back to school I thought well what is going to help me to make a living as a musician and be a pianist. I decided that the most practical thing for me to do would be to pursue a degree in collaborative piano. The teachers at Julliard on the collaborative piano faculty were very well versed in all of those disciplines of what I was interested in and I knew by studying each one of them I'd have a firm background for any opportunities that may present themselves to me in the future. (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) Anyone thinking about wanting to go into music I would suggest starting with the piano because it gives the basic foundation of all musical that needs to be known. Particularly, harmonic understanding so that if you play the piano you already know how to read notes on the treble clef and the base clef possibly others if your piano teacher is very thorough there are other clefs too. That would give you the basis of learning key signatures and time signatures and then you could take that and apply that to any other instrument that you would want to learn to play. Playing the piano specifically, I would say to find a teacher that teaches the fundamentals and a teacher that is personally compatible with the student. Not only is it important what you learn, but to have that compatibility is important too and continuity week to week. So if the student enjoys going to see the teacher every week and looks forward to doing their homework then they're going to have a productive time learning how to play. How to become specialized, I think as a professional musician that has to lie deep in the desires of the child. If they want to pursue music as a career that's a very big decision and so they would have to approach taking piano lessons very seriously, knowing they were going to be doing a lot of practicing. I suggest studying music for everyone because it helps instill discipline and you can translate many things you learn about music into other things in life. (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music) (instrumental music)