Clavier Companion - May/June 2017 - 15
very gratifying because Diane was becoming
a much happier pianist due to her success.
Even though my goal at that point was to
become a concert pianist, I still found this
first "teaching" experience quite rewarding.
From junior high through my New York
years, I taught several students a week-
mostly average kids who were only
studying because their moms made them.
They disliked practicing-and probably
me, too!-and their progress was minimal.
I only suffered through these lessons
because I needed the money, such as it
was. During all of my student years, my
goal continued to focus on becoming a
concert pianist, even though the longer
I studied with Vengerova, the reality of
that ever happening seemed less and less
likely. Oh, well-if all else failed, I could
Piano majors Robert Anderson, Elvina Pearce, and Richard Chronister
experiment with some yoga on the floor of Helen Ringo's studio at The
University of Tulsa (1958).
At some point there must have been
a major change in your attitude about
teaching. What motivated you to consider it as a
The short answer is "Frances Clark!" I first met her in
the forties when I was a young student attending a Guy
Maier summer piano workshop, and we had remained
in touch over the years. When I told her I was leaving
Vengerova and looking for a part-time teaching job
in the New York area, she invited me to come out to
Princeton for a job interview at Westminster Choir
College, where she had just been appointed as head