Sound, Physical Gesture, and Imagination
Join Dr. Helen Marlais as she explores ways to look at students’ repertoire in three dimensions. She will discuss: phrasing and sound, correct physical gestures, and will discuss many ways to stimulate students’ imaginations so they feel and think about the music. In this way, we can guide our students to play with artistic personality. She will demonstrate the value of teaching touch releases to young students. She will draw this information on sound, physical gesture, and imagination together with step-by-step examples using repertoire for each age group. Attendees will receive a detailed, follow-along handout and a gift packet from The FJH Music Company.
Dr. Helen Marlais’ performance schedule includes concerts and pedagogical sessions throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Her travels abroad have included performing and teaching in India, S. Korea, Taiwan, Italy, England, France, Spain, Hungary, Turkey, Germany, Austria, Lithuania, Estonia, China, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and Russia. Marlais has recorded on Audite, Gasparo, Stargrass and Centaur record labels. She has had performances broadcast regionally, nationally, and internationally, on radio, television, and the Internet. Her recording with her husband, concert clarinetist Arthur Campbell, Music for Clarinet and Piano, was nominated for the International Classical Music Awards, one of the most prestigious distinctions available to classical musicians today. FonoForum, a leading European classical music magazine, writes: “Seldom has one so clearly observed the bubbling substructure of the piano part of Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces Op. 73 and, thereby, seldom have the Schumann pieces been played so elegantly and delicately.” They continue with: “Campbell’s and Marlais’ playing is always exact, elegant, without excess. The beauty of this genuinely joint playing is so engaging that it seems to lack for nothing.”
Dr. Marlais dedication to pedagogy for the young is sincere and unwavering. She has given over 500 pedagogical presentations and master classes for pre-college students since 2002. One of the joys of her life has been creating materials to support piano teachers as they guide young musicians. The piano series that she has developed and written for The FJH Music Company have become an integral part of piano students’ repertoire across the country and abroad. Excellent external reviews have come from the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA), Canada, and the USA. The series, Succeeding at the Piano®, and The All-in-One Approach to Succeeding at the Piano®, Succeeding with the Masters®, The Festival Collection®, and In Recital® all have companion recordings. Other series that round out her catalog are: Sight Reading and Rhythm Every Day®, Energize Your Fingers Every Day®, Play Your Scales and Chords Every Day®, The FJH Intervallic Reading Series®. Write, Play, and Hear Your Theory Every Day®, the FJH Adult Piano Curriculum, and In Recital® for the Advancing Pianist. The Contemporary Keyboard Editions® focuses on piano music by contemporary art-music composers. Several of the series above have been translated for, and released in, South Korea, China, and Taiwan.
Recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to a Discipline Award at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dr. Marlais teaches piano and directs the Piano Pedagogy Certificate program for undergraduate piano majors and for professional piano teachers. Dr. Marlais teaches applied piano lessons to a select number of exceptional piano majors who come to GVSU specifically to study with her, and she also teaches collaborative piano and piano literature on a rotating basis. Many of Dr. Marlais’ pre-college through university majors are awarding-winning pianists. She has demonstrated the ability to develop the highest of standards while teaching with a joy-filled approach. She received her DM in piano performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University and her MFA in piano performance from Carnegie Mellon University. Visit HelenMarlais.com
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