Narrative Musicianship is back at Juilliard in Fall 2021
Dear colleagues and music lovers,
Here is a unique opportunity to take a course at the Juilliard School that never existed before. I developed a system - Narrative Musicianship based on Russian Method acting adapted for pianists to elevate story-telling skills. I had a great fortune to begin acting professionally in my teens in Moscow. It was then that I was introduced to certain principles of emotional recall and living the inner life of a character that seemed so naturally applicable to music-making. However, in my extensive music education, I have never experienced the deliberate and strategic approach that would develop the acting skill of a musician as an underlying interpretive technique.
For over 20 years I have tried and tested my theory as well as specific step-by-step elements of what has become the Narrative Musicianship curriculum on myself and my own performances, and I realized what a powerful tool it is for improving the ability to be laser-focused on the music at hand while managing stage freight and anxiety.
The power of anxiety can animate your character instead of paralyzing you, the person, and therefore with practice, you can learn not to suppress the nerves but to transfer the energy onto your character and their circumstance, thus freeing you from the grasp of stage fright.
The more I practiced Narrative Musicianship in a methodical fashion the more I experienced its positive impact on memorization as well. Living the music as your character has a spatial awareness element, which ties into specific data such as keys, individual notes, and phrases, that in turn, create a safety net for your memory on which to rely upon beyond motoric muscle memory.
As a composer and theory double major, I have always looked at the music from the 'inside' perspective, reverse-engineering the structure and looking for the building blocks of each work. Improvisation is a skill and a language that helps develop the ability to see the underlying musical structure both in terms of its construction as well as emotional landscape.
I have developed group improvisation exercises that bring a specific narrative into focus and develop your skill of converting a given emotional state into musical expression in real-time.
I have teamed up with remarkable kinetic movement specialist Anuta Bondarenko (Somatic Yoga, MovNat Cert, Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) Specialist) in creating a body awareness and control regimen designed especially for pianists, as we are spending most of our lives in a sitting position. While most of such techniques (Alexander, Feldenkrais) focus on a body that is standing upright, our approach is to strengthen the body in the seated position. Over time these exercises will enable your body to optimize its movements and sensations to accommodate healthily the demanding physical work that is playing the piano.
During the 10-weeks course, we will cover the basic principles of Narrative Musicianship, apply them to your repertory and go through the group of exercises created specifically for the course. Fall 2021 course, like its 2020 iteration is designed for Zoom environment and relies on group participation and feedback with an emphasis on performance.
You will acquire:
We will address:
The course begins September 28th and meets for 10 weeks on Tuesdays 6-8 pm via Zoom.
Here is the link to sign up. Course #EVDOL023
Looking forward to seeing you!