“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!
- 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. Creativity inspires practicing!
- Scales, chord progressions, exercises, and training balanced muscle sets are emphasized as pivotal to technical growth. For younger kids this will be moderated, or scaled down, but still required as important for growth. Ergonomic and technical instruction are based on my own method, which synthesizes anatomical awareness (where I have done research and had further professional training) and standard technique together with balanced posture. Music reading skills are learned in game form for kids along with standard reading books.
- 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.
- A total musical environment is stressed at all times, with lessons as only part of that environment. Concert-going is encouraged, and I may assign recordings or youtubes with specific listening details in mind. In my experience, listening to high quality playing inspires, and often motivates practicing (for adults and kids) without much need for parental discipline (for children). For skilled readers and players, sightreading lots of literature by many different composers, is important.
- 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/
- 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. An affirming and praise-filled environment is maintained at all times.
- I am here to mentor you as well as to teach.
- Where important, we will address the art of self-talk in the practice room. Self esteem and positivity are important, alongside stick-to-itiveness and focused work. The rewards will be well worth it, and may produce lasting joy life-long! I dedicate my work to this end, and hope this proves to be the case for you.
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.
Jean Philippe Rameau 1683-1764
Tambourins I & II, Pieces de Clavecins en Concerts #4
Drina Brooke, recorder, David Wilson, violin; Amy Brodo, viola da gamba; Katherine Heater, harpsichord
Recorded live at Santa Sabina Chapel, Dominican University
Jacques Martin Hotteterre, 1674-1763
Suite in D major for recorder and harpsichord
Drina Brooke, recorder; Michele McCullough, Baroque cello; Yuko Tanaka, harpsichord
Recorded live at Santa Sabina Chapel
Recorded by Douglas Mandell, singer, professional musician and Dolby Laboratories engineer.