My Piano Teacher Lineage
Theodore Leschetizky is legendary in piano teacher circles. He was a Polish pianist, teacher and composer who lived from 1830-1915. Much has been said about his “method” of teaching, although he was “in principle no friend of theoretical piano methods,” as he told his pupil Malwine Brée in her book called The Leschetizky Method (published by Dover, still available). Many of us can trace our piano teacher lineage back to Beethoven via Theodore Leschetizky (photo at left), who studied with Czerny who studied with Beethoven and Clementi. Leschetizky arguably taught thousands of students (according to Wikipedia) so that means there are probably millions of his piano student “descendants” by now. I am, proudly, one of them.
The piano teacher that had the longest and greatest influence on me was Dale Jackson, who is still teaching here in Calgary. He often talked about one of his teachers, Dr. Edwina Behr, who was a student of Leschetizky. Which means I can say, “My teacher’s teacher’s teacher’s teacher’s teacher was Beethoven.” And my own students just need to add one more “teacher” to the equation.
Wondering just what it was that I had inherited, I recently purchased The Leschetizky Method by Malwine Brée. I already like doing part of his arpeggio sequence as my warm-up, but that’s about all that I actually know about this method that is not really a method. At first glance, the bulk of the book deals with fairly advanced technique. I’m looking forward to perusing it in the next few weeks or months; I’ll post interesting tidbits as I come across them.