Kurt Meisenbach | Lessonface

Kurt Meisenbach

Category Names: 
Violin, Viola
Featured Teacher on Lessonface Since November 2016
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Kurt brings together a unique mix of music and business experience as a Manhattan School of Music scholarship graduate, soloist with Leonard Rose and AndorToth, CPA and Partner with PriceWaterhouse Coopers in Europe.  He was Princpal Violist in the Aspen Chamber Orchestra and also in the Kansas City Philharmonic.  He taught and performed at the Taos School of Music, Red Fox Music Camp and William Jewell College.

"I am a scholarship graduate from the Manhattan School of Music, where I majored in viola.  During my five years in New York I played 2 years with Leopold Stokowski in the American Symphony in Carnegie Hall and with Frederic Waldman in the Music Aeterna Orchestra in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I taught in the Preparatory Division at the Manhattan School of Music.  My teachers and coaches include Robert Slaughter, Bernard Kadinoff, Lillian Fuchs, Joseph Fuchs, Mauricio Fuks and Arthur Balsalm.

While still a student I played Principal Viola in the Aspen Chamber Symphony at the Aspen Summer Music Festival.  In 1971 I accepted the Principal Viola Chair in the Kansas City Philharmonic in Kansas City, Missouri where I played for 9 years.  During this same time I was Artist in Residence at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri.  I taught and performed in the Red Fox Summer Music School in Great Barrrington, Massachusetts and at the Taos School of Music in Taos, New Mexico.

In 1981 I became a CPA and began a business career that lasted for 25 years.  During this time, I lived 15 years in London and 10 years in the US.   I managed projects in 5 continents and travelled extensively in the US, Europe, Russia, India, Asia and South America.  My clients included EDS, Midland Bank, National Westminster Bank, Cap Gemini, Cooperators Insurance, the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Aviation Administration. 

I recently returned to teaching and am developing a web site to support my teaching practice.  When completed it will be the only training web site of its kind, with extensive videos and training knowledge from the world’s best teachers and performers of the past 150 years.

I now live in Punta del Este, Uruguay where I teach violin and viola and perform chamber music.  I teach both traditional and Suzuki methods.  I use standard the violin and viola literature, and I enhance it with my own exercises and practice techniques that I have developed over the past 50 years.  These techniques have been proven successful with my students in Uruguay, where they learn faster and more thoroughly than those trained only in traditional methods.  I make these materials available to my students at no extra charge.  I teach all ages of students from beginnning to advanced.

Because of my extensive travel and work abroad, I understand the challenges faced by the expatriate family.  A connection back to a home-based learning experience can do more than fill the learning gap caused by not being able to find a qualified local teacher.  It can also reinforce the value that sound musical training can have in one’s future business career.

I train my students to become problem solvers.  I do this by asking them questions that enable them to develop their understanding of what they are doing, where they can improve and what they need to do to improve.  I demonstrate frequently at each lesson, but I do not play along with the student, as this changes the focus from them to me and can make them feel that I am not listening to them.

I use the standard violin and viola literature, and I augment this with my own exercises and practice techniques that I have developed over the past 50 years.  For my beginning students this includes mostly special exercises that develop dexterity and coordination faster than traditional methods.  For the more advanced students it includes time management techniques and visualization strategies that overcome mental blocks that frustrate many students. 

I am somewhat prescriptive for my beginning students, as they do not yet have the proper practice habits and need careful guidance to develop them.  As they advance I encourage them to take a greater role in their learning destiny by selecting their own repertoire and developing their own solutions to their problems.  This is a gradual process that varies by student, but all my students become better problem solvers.

For the parents of my younger students, I stress that their child is learning powerful problem solving techniques that are not taught in university business school curriculums.  I know this to be true from my own experience and have written an article on this important subject that has been submitted for publication.