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Historically-Informed Pedagogy: Adding Embellishments and Cadenzas to 18th Century Repertoire

My work has always been founded on the philosophy that technique is based on a refinement of sound and that students should develop a varied approach to touch from the earliest lessons, training their musical ear and fingers simultaneously. I strive for artistic interpretation regardless of age or level of achievement and I believe this fundamental principle applies to beginners learning to play an instrument as well as teaching at the university level.

My recent research seeks to apply the mindset of the 18th century composer-performer to young music students by teaching them to add improvisational elements, embellishments and cadenzas, into their pieces. Participating and interacting creatively with the musical text enables them to experience classical music as a live art, fostering a spontaneous and original engagement with the music.

​Here are two examples of added cadenzas to piano concerti:   

The original cadenza that I composed for Sean begins at 6:24.

The original cadenza that I composed for Janaya begins at 4:04.


“Art is so very comprehensive, and all the phenomena of life stand in the closest relations with it. Whoever loves and cultivates it sincerely finds in it every day new sources of enjoyment and new impulse to inquiry. Even the most experienced artist always remains a learner, and to teach art especially is to learn day by day.”

 – Friedrich Wieck

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