“It is my pleasure to recommend Drina Brooke as an exceptionally fine piano and recorder teacher….very well-rounded and organically-evolving approach…she interacts well with her students, finding a balance between setting high standards and encouraging the tentative student. Her emphasis is on music-making, rather than just technique, which is a refreshing change from many other teachers….creativity and enthusiasm….” –Barbara Bogatin, cellist, San Francisco Symphony, recommendation letter
“My daughter Amber, who was bored last year, has a renewed interest in music” -parent Jane Wipfler, recommendation letter
“Drina’s love and respect for music is absolutely infectious….she holds very high standards, but never pressures…joyous and full of humor….she assigns them pieces which are beautiful and reflect their taste….my children were born into a family of professional and amateur musicians. At a recent gathering of extended family, several people commented on the musicality with which our daughters approach the piano. I believe we owe this to Drina…” -parent Kirsten Neff, recommendation letter
Drina Brooke’s teaching method: Artistic inspiration and joyous music making come first, while high standards are held at all times for technical form. I draw on 30 years of experience in my own unique teaching method, though this is adapted to each student’s individual needs. Learning how each creative mind works, is only one part of the joy of my teaching!
- A) I make a point of seeking out beautiful literature to inspire you from the very first lesson. We work on phrasing and listening skills, also at the very first lesson. After all, music is based on listening and playing from the heart. B) Some scales and drills will be necessary, but more often I am inclined to use passages from musical pieces to teach you models of technique (and make practicing more fun and inspirational). C) Guided listenings drill in the awareness of themes & variations and of musical forms. You will learn to listen to the whole piece instead of the melody line alone (as many beginners are inclined to do). To develop your ear for themes and variations, you will compose your own variations based on simple songs, alongside assigned pieces. D) A total musical environment is stressed at all times, with lessons as only part of that environment. Concert-going is encouraged, and I will lend you cd’s with specific listening assignments in mind. In my experience, listening to high quality playing inspires, and often motivates practicing (for adults) without much need for parental discipline (for children). E) Ergonomic and technical instruction are based on my own method, which synthesizes anatomical awareness and standard technique together with balanced posture. F) I have a unique way to help you conquer stage fright and the fear of making mistakes http://takelessons.com/blog/2009/07/breaking-through-the-fear-of-failure-and-stage-fright/ G) Working one-on-one by definition, means that each person learns differently and lessons will be tailored according to your own needs. H) With younger children, all technical and reading skills are taught using games as a model, and the focus is rotated in brief segments throughout the lesson, to assure concentration and make learning easy and joyous. Children who practice seven days per week, or who make exceptionally good progress in any given week, are given prizes. An affirming and praise-filled environment is maintained at all times.
Feel free to contact me, I am happy to answer your questions and will look forward to talking with you!
Drina Brooke was born in Suffern, New York in 1963. She is a professional recorder player with 30 years of performing and teaching experience. She also teaches piano to beginners and intermediates. Her inspiration to play the recorder and to become a professional musician, began while studying with Helga Tutschek, member of the Concentus Musicus of Vienna, between 1971-74. Inspired for life by Tutschek’s phrasing-oriented teaching, Drina played in masterclasses of internationally-acclaimed Marion Verbruggen, Eva Legene, and Bruce Haynes and participated in graduate-level masterclasses at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1977-78. She attended Dominican University from 1980-84, majoring in music and studying harpsichord with Tamara Loring, and then went on to Indiana University, ranking along with Julliard as the nation’s top music school, to study with virtuosa recorder player Eva Legene. She performs with members of American Bach Soloists in chamber music concerts, as chamber music director and freelance recorder player. To great applause, she teaches her ergonomic method in workshops to professional musicians: Her article, The Anatomy of Posture, appeared in the San Francisco Early Music Society’s newsletter. This was expanded and reprinted on the prestigious Recorder Home Page as well as in several additional musical newsletters. She served on the faculty of the San Francisco Early Music Society’s Music Discovery Workshop for children, for seven years. Her soulful and sensitive phrasing has been noticed by the late legendary lutenist, scholar and Indiana University professor Thomas Binkley, recorder legend Marion Verbruggen, virtuosi Eva Legene, and the late internationally-acclaimed Bruce Haynes and LaNoue Davenport.
Drina speaks fluent German as well as her native English, and lessons may be held in either language to serve any German-speaking students.