Every month I put together a newsletter for my students. Among other elements that I’ll discuss in a later post, I always include a brief article featuring a professional artist or major composer, living or deceased.
This month I featured Itzhak Perlman. As I researched, I was not only flabbergasted by some of his impressive achievements (15 Grammy’s and 4 Emmy’s, taught himself to play as a toddler because a school denied him due to size, plays a 1714 Strad, has played at the White House numerous times, etc.), but I was also absolutely captivated by his teaching. About a year ago I saw his one video response to students’ emailed questions, and I was very impressed by his insights and generosity in simply taking the time to read and articulately answer so many questions. In my research for the newsletter I came across several other videos, as well as his own words about teaching. What I find remarkable is his casual demeanor, lighthearted attitude, and amazing ability to connect with even very young students, all while imparting immense yet simple wisdom to his students and anyone else who will listen. He truly cares about each individual both as a musician and as a soul. But even these words fall short. The video below is a great example of his teaching a class, which also gave me some ideas for group classes and camps!