Introduction: I am a concert pianist offering piano lessons in the Ann Arbor area and remotely. Teaching music is my absolute favorite thing to do! I work best with serious, motivated students. Some quick information about me:
- Master of Music in Piano Performance, The Juilliard School, studio of Robert McDonald
- Currently a doctoral candidate in piano performance at the University of Michigan, studio of Logan Skelton
- 8+ years of private and university teaching experience
- Daughter (and student for 16 years) of two piano professors
- Specialist in Russian piano school and Taubman technique
- Students are winners of regional, state, and national piano competitions
- Comfortable working with all ages and levels (past students have ranged from ages 4-85)
- Remote lessons via Zoom and Skype are easily arranged. I use a microphone and multiple camera angles.
Teaching piano is teaching music; the two must be inseparable. As you learn to make music, you must also learn to love and understand music, and when one aspect falls behind the other, an incomplete musician buds. My piano teaching is supplemented with theory and ear-training discussions, listening to recordings, experimenting and improvising, and releasing the imagination into the fingers and body.
As the daughter and student of a concert pianist and a music educator, I steer my own students in the direction I know works. I aim to give them the most professional and solid foundation. My technical training is grounded in the Russian school, as well as elements of the Taubman approach. I assign exercises and etudes in addition to musical pieces, and expect that the exercises augment technical development to complement the musical. I choose repertoire from a variety of sources, including books I used when studying myself, and give a comprehensive education to my students so that they are proficient in all styles, from Baroque to contemporary. In addition to studying the classics, I enjoy going off of the beaten path and choosing pieces that are not overplayed.
Students who wish to study with me must desire to play piano and learn and grow on their own. If I do not inspire them to do so effectively, then they deserve a different teacher. True joy from making music comes when all elements are in balance, when practicing is challenging but not laborious, and the student has their own point of view in music and in life. I teach in a manner that combines logical suggestion to enhance the music and technique and encourages the student to develop their own creative solutions to musical and technical problems. I prepare my students in a way that will best suit their goals and potential; constant evaluation of their progress, strengths and weakness, preferences and dislikes is a must.
I believe that an artist can only say as much as he or she IS as a person, and therefore an artist’s mind must be nourished not only with extensive listening and learning music, but with visual art, film, literature, and life experience. I often take my students to concerts and museums and encourage debate and discussion. I experienced first-hand from my family the benefit of full musical immersion to reaching peak musicianship, and I fully intend to impart that experience to my own students.
Praised for the “power and vividness” of her playing and commitment to rarely-heard repertoire, Russian-American pianist Aleksandra (Sasha) Kasman is in demand as a soloist and educator with engagements across the USA, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, France, and Japan.
Named a 2019-2020 Young Artist in Residence of National Public Radio’s Performance Today, Ms. Kasman is the First Prize and Audience Award winner of the 2017 Premio Roberto Melini International Competition. She has won first prizes at the NFMC National Collegiate Piano Competition, High Point University Inaugural Piano Competition, and IKIF’s Dorothy Mackenzie Awards. Other awards include top prizes at the Seattle, Wideman, Vladimir Horowitz (Kiev), and Arthur Fraser international piano competitions.
Born into a musical family in Moscow, Ms. Kasman grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, where she studied piano with her father and later duo partner Yakov Kasman. Together they have performed across the USA, Russia, and South Korea. Ms. Kasman is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she studied music and French and was a member of the University Honors Program. She holds an M.M. degree from Juilliard, where she studied with Robert McDonald, and is currently a doctoral student of Logan Skelton at the University of Michigan, where she won the School of Music’s concerto competition performing Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto.
Ms. Kasman made her concerto debuts at thirteen playing Mozart with the Symphonic Orchestra of the National Philharmonic of Ukraine and the Alabama Symphony. She has since worked with numerous orchestras in the USA and abroad. Ms. Kasman enjoys a longstanding collaboration with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, having performed seven different concertos with the ensemble. In 2018, Ms. Kasman premiered Marc Migo’s Double Concerto for Piano and Violin with the Juilliard Orchestra in New York’s Alice Tully Hall.
Ms. Kasman appears as a guest artist at the invitation of such festivals as International Keyboard Institute and Festival, Southeastern Piano Festival, Busan International Music Academy, and PianoCity Milano, and has given recitals at Steinway Hall in NYC, Yamaha Ginza Hall in Tokyo, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, and Salle Cortot in Paris. Ms. Kasman’s most recent international tour featured eleven solo recitals across Italy, where her playing was lauded by the press for its “rock solid technique” and “singing every sentence with an expressive logic of extraordinary maturity”.
Ms. Kasman is an advocate and experienced performer of contemporary music. She has given premieres of works by Nathan Daughtrey, Marc Migo, Zachary Detrick, and Eric Mobley (recently performing a full recital of Mobley’s music).
Ms. Kasman inherited a passion for teaching piano from her parents (both graduates of the Moscow State Conservatory and her own former teachers), and is a dedicated music teacher herself. In addition to giving private lessons, Ms. Kasman is a Graduate Student Instructor at the University of Michigan and formerly a Teaching Fellow and Gluck Fellow at Juilliard. She has given masterclasses at Lee University and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. She especially enjoys serving as a PianoArts Fellow since 2015, giving yearly teaching and performing tours to thousands of children in Milwaukee schools and the community. She teaches in English, Russian, and French.