Keys to success
Colombian students travel to TCU to perfect piano skills.
by Kathryn Hopper
Updated: Tuesday, November 26, 2013
José Antonio Cubela ’04 MM, piano instructor in the TCU Music Preparatory Division, works with 11-year-old Juan Russy of Colombia. (Photography by Amy Peterson)
In November, a group of Colombian students came to campus where they worked with TCU teachers and students to learn new piano skills and showcase their recital pieces.
Students and teachers from the Arsnova Academia de Musica in Ibague, Tolima Colombia participated in several activities including master classes with José Antonio Cubela ’04 MM, piano instructor in the TCU Music Preparatory Division. Each student also had a private lesson with a music preparatory instructor and played in performance classes with TCU piano pedagogy students. Their trip culminated with a final recital.
The group’s connection to TCU came through Maestro Harold Martina, professor of piano, who studied at the Fine Arts Institute of Medelin, Colombia and has connections with Arsnova.
“I learned some new ways to practice,” Juan Russy, age 11, said after his master class with Cubela, who worked with him to perfect a sonatina by Muzio Clementi.
The master class sessions gave each of the students 15 to 20 minutes of hands-on instruction time with Cubela. He worked with them on hand positions as well as the dynamics and the proper elements of a good performance.
“These students are impressive,” Cubela said. “They do a lot of wonderful work in Colombia and they produce wonderful musicians. They’re playing at the same level and even higher than most of the piano students in the United States. They are very dedicated.”
The students were impressed with TCU and the size of its campus.
“It’s so big,” said Silvana Ortiz, age 12. “I have enjoyed coming here and seeing so many things I don’t get to see at home.”
On the Web:
For more about TCU’s Music Preparatory Division, go to musicprep.tcu.edu.