"The Skilled Pianist" touches on teaching our students to harmonize melodies, make up accompaniments, sightread, transpose, and improvise. We extract and use harmonic patterns from actual music (including their repertoire) and play around with the melodies of those pieces. These are also useful skills for studying our performance music; in fact, we can hardly play any repertoire well unless we can create harmonic "skeletons" for use in our own study. And recreating a melody to a harmony in one of our pieces helps to more fully appreciate the beauty and artistry of the composer's original creation. And this is all best when done in the spirit of play...!
T. J. Lymenstull is Instructor of Piano at the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he has built a studio of outstanding young pianists from around the world. Formerly Associate Professor of piano pedagogy at the University of Southern California, Lymenstull was honored as a Teaching Fellow of the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching.
Lymenstull has performed and given masterclasses at conservatories, festivals, conventions and music schools across the US and Asia, including competitions in Washington DC, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Japan, and Singapore, and guest masterclasses in over 20 cities in China. He has also been a guest teacher at the Montecito, Shanghai, and Amalfi Coast music festivals.
Dr. Lymenstull studied at Eastman and the University of Southern California, working with Frank Glazer, Cecile Genhart and John Perry, and was a Fulbright Scholar in piano and conducting in Vienna, Austria. He has performed with the Kronos Quartet, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and with orchestras in the United States and China.