Pianist, teacher, and patented inventor Melanie Almiron joined the New England Conservatory Preparatory School Piano Faculty in 1997, shortly after she began her Master of Music degree studies.
Almiron enjoys teaching absolute beginner level through advanced level piano students of all ages to learn how to play the piano beautifully. Almiron is often inspired to create novel learning methods for her students in their lessons on the spot. She has also been known to spontaneously roll her full-size skeleton model over to the piano during a lesson, move its bones to mimic a fluid pianistic movement, then talk about relevant aspects of anatomy, physiology, and physics. She hopes that by engaging the curiosity of her students in unexpected ways they might soon discover or rediscover their own personal way of moving with ease and consistency to play the music true to the composition and as they want it to sound. Almiron creates a playful, challenging, and creative problem-solving atmosphere for students to learn during their lessons. She encourages her students to maintain that playfulness at home, engage their imagination, and access their whole selves during focused practice sessions to integrate the fundamentals and details and make marked improvements daily. Almiron has observed that this organic learning can prepare students for performances that feel as if they are playing in the comfort of their own practice room, leaving them open from the moment they walk out on stage to play artistically and spontaneously to the acoustics of the concert hall and the energy of the audience. Almiron hopes that her students discover daily the joys of practicing with awareness, presence, and quality of attention in their listening. A natural distillation of a musical composition will happen over time, allowing students to develop a personal and artistic connection with the music and, therefore, with their listeners during performances.
Currently, Almiron is also on the piano faculty of the New England Conservatory School of Continuing Education. Melanie Almiron has appeared as soloist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Calderwood Hall, the Tsai Performance Center, Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory, Capella Hall in Saint Petersburg, Rachmaninov Hall at the Moscow Conservatory, and Christ Church in Saint Louis, Missouri, her birthplace and hometown.
B.M. in Piano Performance, with Honors, NEC; M.M in Piano Performance, with Honors, NEC; piano with Randall Hodgkinson, Russell Sherman, Aube Tzerko, and Jane Allen; chamber music with Seymour Lipkin, Eugene Lehner, and Joseph Kalichstein; winner of annual NEC Honors Piano Competition - J.S. Bach category; founder and pianist, Almiron Trio, prizewinner of the Northeast Music Competition for Chamber Ensembles sponsored by the Shoreline Alliance for the Arts; Kneisel Hall Young Artist and mentor for Maine Students program and Adult Chamber Music Institute program; pianist in collaboration with choreographer, Dawn Kramer, for premiere performance of Swan Song #1- music of Bartók; rehearsal pianist for Yo-Yo Ma in preparation for his premiere performances of the John Harbison Cello Concerto and the John Williams Cello Concerto; NEC Prep Piano Department assistant, pedagogy, and independent study/paper “On Learning and Practicing: Music and the Brain” with Jean Stackhouse; Feldenkrais with David Zemach Bersin; Authorized Teacher of Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes; former faculty, Concord Community Music School, New Hampshire
Photo by Susan Wilson