Donald Berman Piano

My Teaching


Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
—Chinese proverb

Longy School of Music at Bard University
In 2015 I joined the Artist Faculty at Longy teaching studio piano and thecart of performance. Longy is an exceptional conservatory where students learn to become excellent musicians and stewards of their unique career paths. Contact me regarding studying at a graduate or undergraduate level.

Tufts University NME
NME is Tufts' New Music Ensemble, has performed throughout New England in both improvised and composed works. A commissioning program began in the group's fifth year, yielding new compositions that creatively jostle improvised elements with strictly notated ones: Anthony Brandt's "Disturbing the Piece," Marti Epstein's "Victoria's Secret," Robert Carl's "The Eternal Bagatelle," Ken Steen's "Of Four Strings Joining," and Alexander deVaron's "Hailing Distance." NME continues to set new-music trends at Tufts and functions as the resident ensemble for Tufts composers, for improvisation, and for the proliferation of important modern works. A recent appearance on NPR's The Connection talk show on WBUR Radio confirmed NME's position as one of New England's most experimental and challenging musical groups.

Photo Gallery

Minimalism:  Respite and Repetition in Contemporary Music.
In Spring 2012, I launch a new seminar at Northeastern University to hone ears and performance skills through composers practicing the art of conceptual, minimalist, and post-minimalist musics.
(Click here to see the syllabus for the course.)

Pierrot: Moondrunk, Madness, Transgression and Transcendence:
In Spring 2012 I am launching a team-taught teaching model at Tufts focusing this year around a centennial performance of Pierrot Lunaire Susan Narucki in April. The course is co-taught by Schoenberg Scholar Joseph Auner and is based around the idea that a performing artist and acadmeic scholar broaden the context of learning music when presenting works together.

New England Conservatory Summer Piano Institute - 2005-2010
Each summer, this intensive weekend explores the piano works of a major Romantic composer. The composer immersion format provides a forum for the professional, adult student, teacher, and advanced high school student. There are opportunities for close study, practice, and exposure to the range of the selected composer's works. Faculty give presentations on various aspects of the composer's works, including performance traditions, historical interpretive approaches, and the selected composer's own playing and teaching methods. Chopin, Schumann, and Brahms are among the composers that have been featured.

College Students and Private Studio
Currently, I teach a studio of Harvard University students and private adult pupils in Cambridge, MA and in New York City. The musical dialogue with my pupils feeds the core of my concert work. I have encountered some of the most unique and accomplished individuals I know through teaching. My students have included professional conductors, singers, jazz pianists, and organists—also doctors, lawyers, biochemists, therapists, college professors, grade-school teachers, a museum director, a business strategy consultant, a ballet dancer, and a computer chip designer.

Master Classes, Lectures, Residencies
I have had the pleasure of teaching master classes and visiting the music departments of many prestigious universities and music schools. In recent years I have lectured piano seminar students at the New England conservatory and Hartt school of Music and conducted master classes at Stanford University, Ohio State University, Dartmouth, and Florida State. During my visits I have coached a range of repertoire, from standard repertory to new works; spoken at composer seminars about writing for performers; and sat on panels for arts administrators. My visits have also included adjudicating competitions, most recently for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Conservatory, and Longy School of Music. In 2005 my residency destinations will include Israel and Italy.