Studio classes

If you’ve ever heard of music conservatories at colleges and universities, you’ve probably heard about the cutthroat nature of their programs. I’ve heard rumors of students putting razor blades between the keys of pianos, of students not speaking to each other, gossiping—needless to say it can get pretty ridiculous. What I’ve found at Mount Union … Read more

If you’ve ever heard of music conservatories at colleges and universities, you’ve probably heard about the cutthroat nature of their programs.

I’ve heard rumors of students putting razor blades between the keys of pianos, of students not speaking to each other, gossiping—needless to say it can get pretty ridiculous.

What I’ve found at Mount Union is entirely the opposite.

There’s certainly an aspect of personal success. They want everyone to do their best and accomplish a lot. But it’s NEVER at the expense of other students. We’re encouraged to succeed, but we’re also encouraged to support others’ successes.

It’s great. There’s an atmosphere of respect and celebration, not of rudeness and jealousy.

This kind of environment is literally the definition of music. Music is all about collaboration and humanity—what better way to embody those characteristics than teamwork and support?

The reason I’m blogging about this is because last night I went out with the piano students in Dr. Liliestedt’s piano studio. They had their performance, called Piano Keys, last night (It was fantastic, by the way!).

But I was really struck by the environment that Dr. Liliestedt has created. They cheer on each other’s successes and offer constructive criticism at their weekly studio classes. She even takes them out to dinner after performances to bond and talk about music.

A lot of the other applied lessons teachers are the same way. I know for a fact that Miss Weber and Mrs. Abbott also do studios where students constructively critique each other.

That’s what I like about Mount Union’s Department of Music. We, as students, want to succeed. And the faculty and students are behind us all the way.

 

 

 

Eight-Hand Piano Concert

Eight-Hand Piano Concert

Ya know what I appreciate about Mount Union? All the firsts I’ve had here. I was in my first play here (in high school we only did musicals). I had my first experience with a Mac (we still don’t get along but our relationship is improving). I had my first (and second) opportunity to sing … Read more

pianoYa know what I appreciate about Mount Union? All the firsts I’ve had here.

I was in my first play here (in high school we only did musicals). I had my first experience with a Mac (we still don’t get along but our relationship is improving). I had my first (and second) opportunity to sing with a symphony orchestra.

And now, I’ve seen my first eight-hand piano concert.

It was this Wednesday, February 13 in Presser.

Two piano duos came together to make some really impressive music. Dr. Maira Liliestedt and Janelle Phinney, and Brent Schloneger and Raquel Teare really put on an incredible show.

They opened with a piano arrangement of the overture from Don Giovanni, and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t keep my jaw off the floor for the rest of the show.

It was so COOL seeing them perform! There were two grand pianos next to each other, and two people at each one.

I’m still astonished at how fast their fingers can move. And how they all kept in time with each other, and all the talent on that stage!

Pianists never cease to amaze me. I love love loooooove piano.

I say it all the time in my blogs, but I’ll say it again. Most, if not all, of the concerts we put on are free to the public! It’s so easy to see tons of talent and lots of great music.

Here’s a great way to see all the events Mount Union has coming up. Just look for fine arts to see the information on upcoming concerts!