2019 Conference Artist - Intermediate Master Class and Lecture Presentation
Sound, Physical Gesture, and Imagination
(Sponsored by FJH)
Join Dr. Helen Marlais as she explores ways to look at students’ repertoire in three dimensions. She will discuss: phrasing and sound, correct physical gestures, and will discuss many ways to stimulate students’ imaginations so they feel and think about the music. In this way, we can guide our students to play with artistic personality. She will demonstrate the value of teaching touch releases to young students. She will draw this information on sound, physical gesture, and imagination together with step-by-step examples using repertoire for each age group. Attendees will receive a detailed, follow-along handout and a generous gift packet from The FJH Music Company.
Dr. Helen Marlais’ performance schedule includes concerts and pedagogical sessions throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Her travels abroad have included performing and teaching in S. Korea, Taiwan, Italy, England, France, Spain, Hungary, Turkey, Germany, Austria, Lithuania, Estonia, China, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and Russia. Marlais has recorded on Audite, Gasparo, Stargrass and Centaur record labels. She has had performances broadcast regionally, nationally, and internationally, on radio, television, and the Internet. Her most recent recording, Music for Clarinet and Piano, was nominated for the 2013 International Classical Music Awards, one of the most prestigious distinctions available to classical musicians today. FonoForum, a leading European classical music magazine, writes:” Seldom has one so clearly observed the bubbling substructure of the piano part of Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces Op. 73 and, thereby, seldom have the Schumann pieces been played so elegantly and delicately.” They continue with: “…Marlais’ playing is always exact, elegant, without excess. The beauty of this genuinely joint playing is so engaging that it seems to lack for nothing.”
Dr. Marlais dedication to pedagogy for the young is sincere and unwavering. One of the joys of her life has been creating materials to support piano teachers as they guide young musicians. Her series, Succeeding at the PianoR, Succeeding with the MastersR, The Festival CollectionR, In RecitalR, Sight Reading and RhythmR, Write, Play, and Hear Your TheoryR, and The FJH Contemporary Keyboard EditionsR, among others, are published by the FJH Music Company. Her books have been translated into Korean, Taiwanese, and Chinese. She performs and gives workshops throughout the country, internationally, and at all of the national music teachers’ conventions.
Recipient of the DistinguishedContribution to a Discipline Award at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Helen teaches piano and directs the Piano Pedagogy Certificate program for undergraduate piano majors, current teachers, and those interested in teaching piano. She received her DM in piano performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University and her MFA in piano performance from Carnegie Mellon University. She received her BM in piano performance from the University of Toledo and was their 2008 Outstanding Alumna in the Arts.