West Orange, West Orange, New Jersey 07052
Viola Lessons | Violin Lessons | Artist development, Ensemble Coaching, Skype Lessons
- Qualifications: Eastman Bachelors Violin, Master Viola
- Pricing: $80/hr
- Styles: classical
- Suitability: all ages and all levels
As a solo performer with over 50 concertos written for him, Brett has performed with over 90 symphony orchestras on 4 continents and has more than 20 recording albums to his credit including a Latin-Grammy nomination.
In 2017 Brett received a U.S. Congressional Letter of Recognition for his commitment to Education in the Arts.
As an orchestral performer for over 30 years in such world acclaimed orchestras as the London Symphony, New Jersey Symphony and the Rochester Philharmonic Brett brings unparalleled knowledge of orchestra auditions, preparation for Regionals and All-State and Youth Orchestras.
As an educator and master class clinician, Brett has served on the faculties of music schools at major American Universities, is a regular guest artist at international music festivals worldwide, and is highly sought after as one of this generation’s most successful motivational lecturers in Arts Advocacy and Career Growth.
As a private teacher of viola and violin, his students have achieved top seats in NJ All-State and Regionals as well as won seats in the New Jersey Youth Symphony, New York Youth Symphony, the Tanglewood Festival to name a few. Brett’s private students have gone on to attend leading music conservatories in the U.S and Europe as well as become major orchestra players and successful music educators in our public schools.
Brett understands that music is for everyone and after working with Brett his student’s passion for violin and viola provided crucial “supplemental” admission material for acceptance into top Universities in America such as Brown, Cornell and NYU where they continued their love of music as an extra curricular activity while attaining advanced degrees in the humanities and the sciences.
Now Brett Deubner is accepting students in violin and viola of any age and level into his Family Music Studio. It is crucial to build a solid foundation and that starts with a clear understanding of correct posture, proven practice techniques and a genuine love of music that will translate into everything from enjoyable chamber music experiences with friends and especially noticeably improved overall scholastic achievement in all areas of study.
It takes commitment from all three of us! The parent, the teacher AND the student must be fully engaged in this process so regular consistent practice and weekly lessons can take root.
Student will learn correct playing posture: holding the bow correctly, proper left hand
Focus on technique: scales, shifting, etudes, vibrato
Incremental repertoire from beginner to advanced
Preparation for Regional, All-State, Youth Orchestra and Summer Festival and College Auditions.
Performance techniques: dealing with stage-fright
chamber music , performance opportunities, fun sight-reading are all a part of my studio and teaching philosophy
High School Senior: Hi Brett, I want to thank you for helping me with recording and editing my supplemental video, and in general, for guiding me throughout my journey as a viola player over the last four years. Before you became my teacher, I didn’t practice much, seeing it as a bit of a chore. Through your teaching, I learned that the bow is like a paintbrush, with different strokes for different situations; that playing a musical phrase is like saying a sentence, with a natural beginning and ending; and many other creative and often humorous analogies. More importantly, I learned to think about the meaning behind the pieces I played, and you unlocked the creative side of musicianship that I was missing out on. Finally, thank you for cheering me on during lessons and outside of lessons. You gave me confidence, making note of every small improvement of mine. This confidence motivated me to work hard, and every time I went into an audition I was confident I would do well. See you in January; I'll finally be free from all this college stuff by then. Best, Andrew
MUS 248 - Individual Study / Applied Private Lesson - Viola I observed Adjunct Lecturer Brett Deubner teach sophomore violist Summer Wojtczack on Thursday, October 14, 2021 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST in room 310 at the Aaron Copland School of Music. The following commentary is broken out into three sections: Lesson Summary The lesson concentrated on two pieces of repertoire (Bach and Stamitz), but began with Professor Deubner asking Summer about her warm up for the day and then asking her the repertoire with which she would like to begin. His spoken pace immediately set up a direct, facile communication loop in which Summer easily and eagerly participated for the entire hour. Professor Deubner taught the entire lesson with his viola in hand, his active teaching characterised by exceptionally demonstrative detail in playing and equally adroit spoken communication, rich in immediately applicable detail. All of this was in service, continually, to the music and the music’s purpose. Unceasing activity and forward motion characterize Professor Deubner’s career as a player. It is sometimes difficult in a lesson to craft a similar pace, even for a veteran teacher. However, Professor Deubner makes the entire process look easy, because I suspect that for him, it is. His natural pacing of pedagogy is in line with his energy, care, exceptional ear, and his performance standards. Having heard his playing on several occasions, it was a genuine pleasure to see his instruction so in line with his music making. The guided discovery that he fostered throughout the lesson manifested itself with fleet, performance oriented energy. Evaluation As mentioned above, his teaching is characterized by exceptional detail. In the instance of the Bach, by having Summer analyze accents and diminuendos, he effectively outlined the combined actions of the left hand as a refining mechanism of an evolving bow stroke. Commenting that the technique itself might seem “hard” he immediately deflated the supposed threat by making the observation that effective left hand technique will always be a coordinating element of music making. It never is left on its own - it’s always integrated. He emphasized this a few times throughout the lesson, taking care to demonstrate this coordination. I mention guided discovery above as well, an element central to sound pedagogy. Professor Deubner accomplishes this via combined techniques that build the student’s overall coordination and eventual mastery, clarifying detail by detail, in a logical continuum. Elbow fluidity and movement became the next focus of this strategy, as he had Summer experiment with different positions by always making sure that “cross string movement comes from elbow movement - specifically by making sure every part of your body is supported.” He took this opportunity to reference an apt example of his son Graham’s bassoon technique. “Relax your muscles - and you end up using the smallest muscles present.” This is a cornerstone of many physical techniques (I learned it first with John Mohler in 1986) and is a well known, foundational, and transferable technique in the string world. Most recently, I watched Eira Lynn Jones of the Royal Northern College of Music illustrate the exact same concept for harpists. By analysing the required motions to improve, in this case, a string crossing, Professor Deubner opened up an entire field of movement exploration that can be applied across multiple situations. Summer clearly understood this approach and, I believe, has the curiosity and drive to exploit that knowledge. Gauging the degree and detail of information presented to a student, knowing that the student will grasp that information and run with it, is a further subtlety of experienced teaching that was a pleasure to see. Both Summer’s tone and clarity improved immediately as this element was further refined. Further examples of Professor Deubner’s teaching throughout the hour addressed Summer’s attention to line and the necessary accentuation of the important, guiding pitches within that line. He asked her to sing a composite line, offering examples of different characteristics musically identifying with different characteristics in people, so each different voice keeps the others moving forward. Dynamics within a lyric line were addressed by the refined yet forthright (even poetic) “even piano has to project or else it's just a thought" and throughout, Professor Deubner maintained a conversational, highly detailed, and focused loop of communication. Immediate results are the product of both a superb student and a superb teacher. And, during this hour of teaching, Summer’s core tone, technical improvements, and refined musical results were constant. Queens College, CUNY | 65-30 Kissena Boulevard | Queens, New York 11367-1597 Phone: 718-997-3800 | Fax: 718-997-3849 Moving Forward While observing his teaching, I was vividly reminded of both Donald McInnes and Jorja Fleezanis, in that Professor Deubner mirrors the detail necessary for mastery as well as the energy to see that those details are understood and placed into action immediately. The Aaron Copland School of Music is amazingly well served by teaching like this. As the conductor of the Queens College Orchestra, I see very easily why the viola section maintains itself as one of the strongest in the ensemble; all these students study with Brett. I am also well acquainted with Professor Deubner’s work at the Festival Institute at Round Top, Texas where I have conducted as both a guest artist and as a faculty member. I also knew Fredell Lack and Zvi Zeitlin well, both major teachers of Professor Deubner, and he is a credit to their combined legacies. He is a significant asset to the Copland School and would be so at any peer institution. It would be to our advantage to see where else he might be of service to our programs. Respectfully Submitted, Mark E. Powell Associate Professor Director of Orchestral Studies