Dr. Andrew Peter Millar – Piano Instructor
As a teacher, Dr. Millar practices an approach that focuses on the mechanics of keyboard playing and allies this with the development of the student’s musicianship and theoretical insights into music. He is concerned with the needs of the young pianist with modest no less than those with grand aspirations to excel in the subject. Studying within a group of peers at every step along the way is integral to each student’s progress. With this in mind, students are offered Partner Lessons as opposed to Individual Lessons wherever this is possible. They are also encouraged to pursue a complementary program of Musicianship and Theory Studies. Studying within a group of peers creates an atmosphere of supportive learning among students and promotes the determination in each student to succeed to the very best of their abilities.
The Elementary Piano Studies program is for beginners and elementary music students of all ages. Students are matched together in small groups for Partner Lessons whenever possible and receive their lessons in a setting that has acoustic and digital pianos as well as other modern classroom resources. Other students receive Individual Lessons, one-to-one with the teacher. The approach incorporates popular music, Classical music, and music from cultures throughout the world.
Weekly piano lessons in conjunction with a regular home practice schedule ensure each student’s progress in reading music at the keyboard, rhythm and aural skills, piano technique, composition or improvisational abilities, and ensemble playing skills. The course of study gradually leads to a mastery of the practical and theoretical rudiments of music. Special insights offer a foretaste of advanced musical studies in harmony, counterpoint, analysis, style and the history of music.
The Advanced Piano Studies program prepares young students for continuing studies at the collegiate level. There are special places for dedicated adult students who perform in musical gathering and enjoy playing chamber music. The approach focuses on the art of piano playing in the Classic-Romantic tradition. Students are encouraged to work towards mastering the principles of piano technique and of musical expression to the lest of their ability. The course of study includes sight-reading and rapid music learning techniques.
The ongoing calendar of Special Events includes recitals, master classes, competitions, and examinations. Serious elementary and advanced level students prepare for a variety of such opportunities to perform as part of their course of study. All students are encouraged to play for each other, their families, friends, and in community events whenever possible.
Musicianship and Theory Classes
Dr. Millar offers the following supplemental programs of studies in Musicianship, Music Theory, and Keyboard Skills for all students of the Toedtman School of Music and for students who take their voice or instrument lessons in private studios or other academies. Individual students are offered personalized courses of study within the class instruction context in order to meet their individual needs. Preparation is offered for the examinations of the Royal Conservatory of Music / National Music Certificate, Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and the College Board Advanced Placement Music Theory program. Students are grouped together as best as possible according to their age groups and compatibility of needs for a weekly class of about an hour in length depending on the number of class participants. Special classes are offered for adult students of music.
The Practical and Theoretical Rudiments of Music
To supplement a program of Voice or Instrumental Studies; includes:
- Musical Terms, Signs, and Notation
- Rhythm and Aural Skills
- The Circle of Fifths: Scales, Intervals, and Chords
- Expression in Music: Tempo and Character, Articulation, and Accentuation
- The Foundations of Harmony and Composition
- Musical Forms and Styles
- Elementary Piano Repertoire, Exercises and Etudes in Keyboard Technique
Keyboard Skills for Pianists
To be taken as part of a broader program in Musicianship and Theory in collaboration with the studio instruction in piano; including:
- Graded Sight Reading Exercises
- Short Test Pieces for Rapid Learning
- Duet Playing
- Technique Exercises, Scales, Chords, Arpeggios, and Etudes
- Keyboard Harmony
- Study of Chamber and Orchestral Works from Open Scores
An Introduction to Advanced Music Theory
For Student’s who have completed the materials of the Rudiments of Music; included:
- Advanced Exercises in Rhythm and Aural Skills
- Harmony: a Program of Exercises in Chords, their Progressions, and Voice Leading
- Listening Assignments in the Classical and Contemporary Repertoires of Music
- Analysis: Structures in Music
- The History and Aesthetics of Music
Dr. Millar Biography
Dr. Millar had made solo and ensemble appearances as a pianist across the USA, also in England, Hungary, and New Zealand. Resent appearances include a performance for the Cincinnati Holocaust Society featuring works by composers who perished during the Holocaust and as a collaborator in works for clarinet and piano by composers from New Zealand at the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest. He has made concerto appearances with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and with the Orchestra of the University of Auckland School of Music. He has presented solo recitals at the New Zealand Embassies in Washington DC and in London, England.
His training took place at the following institutions:
- Doctor of Musical Arts, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Master of Music, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas
- Bachelor of Music, University of Auckland, New Zealand
- Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music, London, United Kingdom
Extensive additional experience was gained as a pianist in the role of accompanist in the operatic and song repertoire, and in the music with string, wind and brass instruments. These experiences naturally led to a secondary interest in conducting small vocal and instrumental ensembles, particularly in operatic rehearsals and in concerts of new music. Conducting was a cognate area of study for the Masters of Music.
Dr. Millar’s doctoral cognate of study was music theory. His thesis was entitled:
Adolph Kullak’s “Die Asthetil des Klavierspiels” and the Emergence of Modern Piano Technique by the Late Nineteeth Centtury, DMA Thesis. University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, 2004.
In conjunction with his Studio of Music, he is presently at work on Musical Foundations at the Piano: an Interactive Keyboard Studies Reference Resource. This consists of a sequence of exercises, etudes, and selections from the solo and ensemble keyboard repertoire for the beginner through advanced level student of the keyboard instruments. Print materials are aligned with digital audio, MIDI sequence, and other interactive resources to provide support for the practice and progress of piano students.