By Julia Kossuth As 2013 comes quickly to a close, I've been spending some time thinking about the new year. I want this to be a dynamic spring semester for my students and the Studios of Sarah Strout, so I plan on carefully considering what each of my kids needs to become a stronger musician and to love music even more. In an effort to prevent...

Read More

Preparing for the New YearEvery year, I take a two-week break in December so that both my students and I can enjoy the holidays with our families. After several months of hard work, we all need that time off to recharge our batteries.

But for me, the winter vacation isn’t all play and no work. While I don’t actually see students during this time, there are some important things I do in order to ready my studio, my students, and myself for the upcoming new year.

By Kate Powell Every once in awhile you get the opportunity as a musician to substitute for another musician: sometimes it’s a well known community orchestra or a spot in the Kennedy Center pit. What’s important is making the most of these opportunities and leaving the door open for such opportunities again. Below is a list of key things to remember when you are called upon...

Read More

imagesDecember in the studio can be a stressful time for your students. They are likely busy at home, and some may have end of the semester commitments such as choir/drama performances or school finals. With so much going on, this can be a nice time to take it a bit easier on your students and boost their morale by having some holiday fun. Here are a few suggestions for planning holiday parties/activities at the studio:

The purpose of a masterclass is to give students an opportunity to perform for and be critiqued by an esteemed artist. Performing for a master teacher is considered an honor and an educational opportunity. Observing a masterclass is a rare opportunity to see a great artist at work.

The idea of a masterclass was first developed by Franz Liszt in the 19th century. Liszt was one of the most revered and sought after teachers of his generation. He is said to have more than 400 students; many of whom were famous such as Carl Tausig, Hans von Bülow and Emil von Sauer. At these early masterclasses, pianists as well as composers, violinists, cellists, singers, and even painters and poets would gather in Liszt’s home in Weimar to experience his teaching. A rather intimidating experience, it is said that students would enter the music room first and place their scores on the piano. Upon Liszt’s entrance, students would stand respectfully while Liszt went to the piano, leafed through the scores and chose the music to be performed.