“Teaching music, and piano specifically, is particularly challenging and exciting because you get to introduce to your pupils some of the most beautiful music ever written, while at the same time you have to help them develop the motor skills and discipline needed to learn it.”
M.M., Manhattan School of Music
B.A. & B.M., Ithaca College
Originally from Scotch Plains, New Jersey, Allison Lander lived outside of Philadelphia and in Ithaca before returning to New York City in 2004 to study at the Manhattan School of Music. “My mother is a pianist, and was my first teacher,” says Allison Lander. “She noticed I picked up the instrument very quickly and sent me to a well-known teacher in the area, who took me under his wing. I was strongly encouraged from this point forward by family and teachers alike to pursue the piano seriously.”
As a teacher, Allison strives to provide a strong example of the musical goals and values she works on with her students, and to inspire them to continue learning outside of their lessons. With younger students, Allison notes “I try to break music down into its simplest components and shift between activities relatively quickly to accommodate their shorter attention spans.” Allison also enjoys teaching adult students, and being able to talk in-depth about the composers, history, and theory behind the pieces they’re working on.
While Allison often focuses on the solo repertory of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, and Schumann in her performances, she credits chamber music for some of her most rewarding experiences. “As a soloist, you have full command over the musical output, and there is so much beautiful, thrilling, and virtuosic repertoire to present. However, I believe collaborating with other musicians to be an invaluable experience. Not only do you share your ideas with an audience, but you also get to communicate with your peers, to toss ideas back and forth, literally and musically.”
Allison counts her former music theory professor Nils Vigeland as one of her primary influences. “His classes changed the way I listen to, study, and teach music, and confirmed in me that I had entered into a field of never-ending intrigue and depth.” In her free time, Allison enjoys cooking, running, Zumba, Bikram yoga, and listening to some of the many amazing concerts New York City has to offer.