John Kearin teaches at Arbor Music on Thursday and Saturday.
Where and how did you get your start in music?
I started taking Suzuki piano at the age of 4 1/2 at the Music Institute of Chicago, though I didn’t start to really love it till I was 11. My first piano teacher still tells stories of having to pull me out form underneath the piano. At 14 I started taking organ lessons and composition lessons and ended up majoring in both for my undergrad at Oberlin Conservatory of Music. For my masters I did something a little different and studied the performance of Renaissance Polyphony at the University of York in York, England.
What is your favorite style of music to play/ what is your primary instrument?
My primary instruments are piano, organ, harpsichord, and voice. My favorite music to perform varies depending on which instrument I am using at the time. For piano I enjoy performing Classical and Romantic works, but when playing organ and harpsichord, I am drawn to Baroque and Renaissance music, and finally, for voice I like Medieval, Renaissance, and some Baroque.
Who is your favorite composer/musician?
Too many to name...
What inspired you to teach/ what do you enjoy about teaching?
Sharing the joy that it is to play music for oneself.
How do you motivate your students to practice?
I try to make my students laugh as much as possible so that our lessons feel less like an obligation and more like something they really enjoy doing.
What are some unique things you do to make a positive impact on students musical growth?
I try to quell, early on, any doubts they may have as to their ability to play an instrument. One of the ways I do this, is by working through proper practice methods with them as much as possible. In doing so, I often show them in real time how quickly they can learn particularly difficult passages that would otherwise discourage them.
If you were a tree, what kind of tree you you be?