My Journey with Alexander Peskanov
My musical relationship with Alexander Peskanov began back in the summer of 1991 when I, and my friend Marilyn Davis, attended a master class Alek was conducting at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. His daughter, Rachael, was a baby in Lu Ann’s arms, and today, May 15, 2010, she graduated from college! My how things have changed. At that time the Russian Technical Regimen had been passed down from one generation to the next, from one master teacher to another – by word of mouth. We, as teachers, really wanted to be able to teach these valuable techniques to our students using this regimen, because we saw the value and the results that followed. Alek had wanted to put this regimen to paper for many years, and with our encouragement, and the technical assistance of my husband, George, he finally did, and all of the teachers and students that have been exposed to it and studied it since then have benefitted greatly. It really does produce wonderful, repeatable results.
The Piano Olympics
The Piano Olympics, a natural offshoot of studying the Russian Technical Regimen, was conceived and first demonstrated in Kingsport, Tennessee, by a group of local teachers including Marilyn Davis, Anne Sorrell, Dottie Slaughter, Mellissa Campbell and myself, under the direction of Alexander Peskanov. It was an instant success! The Piano Olympics provides a vehicle for encouraging and challenging students in a non-threatening environment. It provides a fun and useful way for students and teachers to measure progress toward the goal of becoming good, solid performers.
Many of my students have commented at some point along the learning path that they finally understand why they have been playing all of those scales and chords all of these years. These patterns show up in many forms in many of the compositions they perform – particularly the more advanced pieces. Progressing through the various levels naturally builds a strong foundation and, in addition, gives the student a strong sense of achievement. Up until very recently it was necessary for Alek to be with the student to observe and judge whether or not the student demonstrated the requirements for a specific level with sufficient skill to pass to the next level. Now utilizing the technique of video exchange, this evaluation process can be done with students and teachers anywhere in the world.
"Learning the Russian Technical Regimen has helped me achieve faster speed, better sound and more relaxation. After playing Czerny Etudes my repertoire became easier to play."
Michelle Schodowski, completed Level IV
student of Carol Stone
"It (the Russian Technical Regimen) has helped me to recognize notes and fingering more quickly. I have also been able to relax and create a beautiful tone."
Ashley Michelle, completed Level II
student of Carol Stone