An estimated 46% of Americans have taken music lessons, with piano lessons being the most popular choice. Most quit.
At some point, every piano student encounters a struggle to stay motivated. There are several factors that will influence if they come out of it: the teacher, their goals, and their perseverance are all important. But, in my experience, the BIGGEST factor that determines whether students will stick with their piano studies is whether they love the pieces they are playing!
I am uniquely suited to write for young pianists. As a pianist and composer, I know what audiences love. As a teacher, I know what students love.
I grew up immersed in classical music. I studied with renowned pianists and received degrees from top programs. I have a strong foundation in theory, music history, conducting, orchestration, and of course piano literature. In grad school, I also studied psychology and learned a LOT about... well... how we learn. What motivates us.
These days, I listen to music of all genres. Pop, rock, country... you name it. I draw inspiration from all of these.
This project will see through the publication of 100 pieces that are unlike anything else out there!
I write music for young pianists that's relevant and engaging... but challenges and inspires them to grow in their technique and artistry. I jokingly refer to these pieces as "gummy vitamins" - they're delicious but technically and artistically nutritious. They're etudes (studies) for this generation of pianists. Each piece was custom crafted for a student and has been student-tested and student-approved.
You WILL want to listen to this music!
Audiences who have heard these pieces have commented: "It's like something you'd hear in a movie, or on the radio."
The music is relevant and it is engaging. Styles include cinematic, contemporary lyrical, Neo-Classical, Neo-Romantic, jazz/blues, and minimalist.
It's been said that if your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough.
This is a huge project. Composing 100 pieces is just the start (the average length of time I spend on an intermediate piece is 4-5 hours. Advanced works have taken much longer!). Alongside the music (complete with colorful and inspiring cover and musical descriptions) will be video performances, video tutorials, and audio recordings. I'm estimating that's another 4-5 hours per piece. No joke.
The process looks like this:
I want to motivate piano students world-wide with music by a contemporary, female, American composer. I need YOUR help!
I am eager to reach students and teachers and share 100 Pieces for Piano Prodigies with them. Thank you for supporting this project!
Every dollar counts and is truly appreciated! I will be sharing progress updates and recordings as I make my way through this project. I am offering a few incentives to sweeten the deal!
I'll keep you up to date with my progress. You'll get to see behind-the-scenes of the work, hear the recordings, etc.
$25 or more: Zoom Concert and Q&A
Attend a Zoom concert and Q&A during which I play selections, share backstories, and address your questions about the pieces or process.
$50 or more: 25 Pieces Digital Music OR 5 Yoga Classes (+ Zoom Concert and Q&A)
Choose to receive sheet music for 25 pieces or attend 5 "Yoga for Musicians & Friends" classes. I am a "RYT200" yoga teacher and lead yoga each summer at the Intermuse International Music Institute and Festival. I will lead 5 live classes through Zoom (approx. 30 minutes/class). No prior experience necessary. Classes will focus on balance, posture, and awareness of breath and tension. And... at the end of each class, I'll play one of my compositions!
Pledge $100 or more: 50 Pieces Digital Music (+ Zoom Concert and Q&A)
When the compositions are complete, you will receive digital files to 50 pieces!
Pledge $200 or more: 100 Pieces Digital Sheet Music (+ Zoom Concert and Q&A)
When the compositions are complete, you will receive digital files to all 100 pieces AND an autographed hard-copy compilation.
Pledge $500 or more: Sponsorship Package
Help me get this music in the hands of teachers and students around the world! We will send digital AND an autographed hard-copy compilation of all 100 pieces to a music program in the USA or abroad (I have several I've worked with but am open to your suggestions) This will be donated on your behalf. I will also offer a Zoom masterclass free-of-charge to that school, good through July 2022. AND, I will perform a private Zoom concert for you and up to 25 friends!
As a pianist, I have enjoyed a vibrant career, performing as a soloist in 35 countries worldwide since my childhood (I first went on tour at age nine!). I have developed expertise in how to enchant an audience; capturing their attention within the first few notes and then taking them on a musical journey that leaves them inspired. I have performed masterpieces by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, and many other composers and intimately understand the theory and structure of successful composers. I have recorded critically-acclaimed CDs and DVDs as a soloist and collaborative pianist. I hold degrees from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington, Trinity College of Music in London, and Towson University.
As a teacher, I have taught ALL ages and levels of students. I have enjoyed working with advanced students at universities and conservatories and given masterclasses in Cuba, Lithuania, Germany, China, Poland, and throughout the USA. I have worked with outstanding young musicians at the Intermuse International Music Institute and Festival. Since 2008, a huge part of my career has been focused on developing the talents of pre-college students. I founded Piano Prodigies LLC in 2011. I consider myself a successful teacher, not just because several of my students have been successful in competitions or pursued careers in music (earning full scholarships to college along the way), but because my students of all aspirations have loved their studies. I take pride in establishing a strong rapport with my students and their families and serving as their musical mentor for years (see testimonials).
As a composer, I have written for piano, trio, and orchestra. My compositions have been performed by international orchestras including the Tianjin Philharmonic (China), Šiauliai Chamber Orchestra (Lithuania), King David String Ensemble (Israel), and the Cumanayagua Concert Orchestra (Cuba). My composition "In Memoriam" was premiered at the 2013 Pažaislis Music Festival in Kaunas, Lithuania on June 14 under the patronage of the President of Lithuania. I have had several works commissioned, and am the 2021 New Hampshire Music Teachers Association commissioned composer.
Piano Prodigies student Melodee Yumi Drescher is an example of incredible creativity, perseverance, and charm all rolled into one! Over the course of this past summer, she worked on a number of pieces, both within the Faber Piano Adventures series as well as independent works. At the end of August, she decided to organize her very own recital for family members from near and far (visiting from around the world!),. She advertised the performance, prepared tickets, and had several tiers of seating options. She masterfully emceed the program, introducing each of the pieces to her appreciative audience and wowing them with her expressive and dynamic performances.
GREAT WORK, YUMI!
Interview with Yumi
What are your favorite hobbies?
My favorite hobbies are dancing, piano, art, music... and I LOVE learning things!
How long have you been playing piano?
Since I was three!
How did you get the idea for the recital?
I just love piano and I thought it would be a nice idea to share music with my family. I practiced to learn the pieces, and I decorated our home for the concert. I set up a cashier box for tickets.
What was practicing like?
I practiced a few times a day! Sometimes it was hard, and I would practice in the morning, take a break, and then get back to it later on. Mom and Dad would help and check in on me.
What was your favorite part of the recital?
Playing all the music!
Do you think other students would enjoy putting on a recital for their family and friends?
Yes, very much!
Elizabeth Borowsky is a pianist, teacher, and composer. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano (Music Teachers National Association).