Mr. Dominic Meiman

Piano Teacher

Dominic Meiman

SAA Member

Contact

Riverdale, NY
212-727-8338
[javascript protected email address]
DominicMeiman.com

Teaching Locations: I maintain a private studio in Riverdale, NY, and I’m on the faculty of The Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, NY

Degrees and Studies:  Suzuki Piano Books 1-7 at The School for Strings with Marina Obukovsky; Suzuki Books 3 & 4 at Hartt Suzuki Institute with Fay Adams; Suzuki Book 2 at Colorado Suzuki Institute with Jane Kutscher Reed; Book 1 at Virginia Suzuki Institute with Cathy Hargrave; Theory and Composition, Mannes School of Music; Private piano studies with Joseph Prostakoff and Sophia Rosoff, proponents of Abby Whiteside; B.A. English, Harvard University

Performances and Distinctions:  Pianist/conductor for two national Community Concert tours of The Merry Widow and Naughty Marietta for Columbia Artists Management; arranger and co-librettist/lyricist of The Ring of the Fettuccines, an introduction to opera for children, performed at Kennedy Center, Detroit Institute, Brooklyn Academy, and on CBS Cable TV; orchestrator of Richard Rodgers revue, Something Wonderful; orchestrator/pianist for CD of The Night They Invented Champagne, Operettas and the Musicals They Influenced; author of article on transposition, The 20-Minute Miracle in Clavier Companion magazine.

Statement of Teaching Philosophy:  The Suzuki philosophy of Every Child Can is something that I fully embrace.  I wholeheartedly believe that all children have the potential to become as fluent on the piano as they do in their mother tongue.  A growing body of evidence strongly suggests that expert ability is more heavily influenced by environmental factors than by any innate “gifts”.  Every parent should be excited by this.  It means that the potential of each child is unpredictable and arguably limitless.  It means that two of the most essential ingredients in the development of expertise—passion and perseverance—can themselves be developed.  This, of course, requires responsibility and action.  All members of the Suzuki Triangle—Parent, Child, and Teacher—must adopt a growth mindset.  They must each agree to contribute equally to the success of the venture.  I encourage parents to consider instrumental study as an essential part of their child’s education; not just an elective nicety.  Maintaining motivation is not easy.  It takes time to realize that the sweetest rewards come from hard-won achievement.  Along the way, the learning process needs to be enjoyable, even when the going gets rough.  

My teaching is further grounded in the principles of the great pedagogue, Abby Whiteside. Like Shinichi Suzuki, Whiteside developed an approach to teaching piano that nurtured many of the aspects of performance that traditional teaching normally reserves for the exceptionally gifted. Her approach to technique, for example, not only develops a physical coordination that produces an easy speed and virtuosity, but also a compelling musicality of long-line phrases. She called this a “Basic Emotional Rhythm”. My teaching focuses on 3 overarching aspects of performance skill:  Aural awareness, physical coordination, and emotional connection, all of which work together synergistically. While the first two elements seem obvious, the role of emotion is often considered a veneer added late in the learning process, rather than an inseparable component.

Though the Suzuki method beautifully addresses the development of ears and coordination, it provides little guidance in the matter of reading. This shortcoming must be addressed in the very first lessons. Learning to read and learning to play are each substantially challenging. For that reason, I believe that while learning to read music should begin at the start of study, it should be kept on a separate track until the student has acquired a certain fluency playing the instrument itself.  At that point, sight-reading—that is, reading and playing at the same time—may more comfortably be introduced.