Jal Feldman, Suzuki Piano
Teaching Artist Statement
I teach because it is very exciting for me to help children develop the skill and the heart to express themselves through music. Being able to do this was extremely important to me during my own childhood. I enjoy guiding others through the rewards and challenges along the path to having the same gift. The development of musical skill requires a combination of great discipline and enormous creativity. I try to foster and encourage both in my students.
Teaching music to young children through the Suzuki Method is 70% about child psychology and 30% about music training. As the child gets older, those percentages even out and eventually reverse in most cases. However, knowing how to work effectively with children is an essential part of being a good music teacher. I teach at Music Center because it is supportive to this process in so many ways that I could not begin to list them. Music Center provides a collaborative setting with many invaluable opportunities for student and teacher.
Jal Feldman has taught Suzuki piano for over 20 years, including several appearances at the annual Suzuki Festival for Washington State in Ellensburg. He studied Humanistic/Transpersonal Psychology (including Child Development) in addition to music in college and uses both equally in his teaching. Jal’s students are frequently recognized for their achievements, including special recognition from the Washington State Suzuki graduation program, Music Center honor’s recital performances, top scores on Royal Conservatory music assessments, individual solo recital performances upon graduation from each Suzuki book, recording CDs of their piano music, and consistently superb solo and ensemble performances at studio recitals.
Spirituality is an essential part of Jal’s life and work. He has had a long-term and active support role in two top-quality music programs—at the Center for Spiritual Living and Bet Alef Synagogue in Seattle. Jal has had the opportunity to play almost every style of music in these situations with gifted singers and musicians from all over the U.S., as well as performing individual solos on a regular basis. Jal created, organized and was the central performer for a music entertainment service called The Jal Feldman Groups. Jal has also been the pianist for musical theater productions—professional and amateur—in San Francisco and Seattle.