LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
Lock Haven University Associate Professor David T. Curtin will be traveling to China to conduct master classes in piano June 12 and 15. Lock Haven University is partnering with Steinway & Sons to hold the classes in Shanghai and Beijing.
Each season a number of internationally renowned artists are invited to present master classes at Steinway Hall China. Master Class instructors are some of the best musicians in their fields. Curtin, who has performed nationally and internationally, recently achieved the distinction of being named a Steinway Artist. Lock Haven University, an All-Steinway School, is now the only college or university in the Central/Northeast region of Pennsylvania to have a Steinway Artist on its faculty.
Master classes give students the opportunity to supplement their studies through interaction with guest performers whose insight and experience exemplify the highest levels of musical achievement. These classes allow everyone involved—pianists, teaching artists, and the general public—to be engaged and enlightened. The students who participate are not novices, but accomplished musicians who are seeking expert professional feedback. Each student is asked to play a selection, following which the instructor critiques the performer’s technique and interpretation. The student then plays the piece again, utilizing the instructor’s feedback. According to Alysha Sides, Director of Institutional Sales for Robert M. Sides Family Music Centers, “Musicians are fascinated by the learning process behind the art, and master classes are a perfect example of how someone who is highly skilled in music imparts their knowledge and fine-tunes others' ability.”
Sides observed, “Master Class instructors are some of the best musicians in their field.” She added, “The quality of piano student which Curtin will find in China confirms his abilities to work with students and challenge them into higher levels of musical expertise.”
Curtin expressed his eagerness to hear young Chinese musicians and to attract them to Lock Haven University. “The purpose of this trip is not so much for me to play, but for me to hear young Chinese pianists play, and to see if some of them might like to study at LHU,” he said. “China is a country of 1.3 billion people, and it is estimated that 40-50 million of them are pianists of one kind or another, ranging from beginning students to amateurs to professional virtuosos. Chinese pianists such as Lang Lang, Yundi Li, and many others are at the top of their professions.”
Curtin added that the Chinese culture places high importance on a strong work ethic and respect for teachers, “which are perhaps the most essential qualities for budding musicians to have.” He added, “We are eager to have Chinese music students here. We feel that not only will the Chinese students learn a lot here, but our American students will also benefit.”
The master classes in China are just one part of LHU’s strong international component. Curtin said, “I really can't speak highly enough about President Miller and his focus on international studies and exchange programs at LHU. Those universities which have cultivated their international networks, as LHU certainly has done, are making a wise investment in the future. I am thrilled to be a small part of that effort.”
Sides echoed that sentiment: “The world is becoming flat as societies change and Lock haven University is leading the way as a distinguished global leader in music education”