Dr. Ostermiller emphasizes development of aural sensitivity, technical precision, expressive interpretation, and music theoretical knowledge, all tailored to the age and ability level of each student:
- For younger beginners, he employs the Shaak Method, combining elements of aural-centric Orff and Suzuki with traditional score-reading techniques. Students are initially taught by rote, followed by a gradual introduction to music notation via Nancy and Randall Faber's Piano Adventures series. This timeline allows students to develop an aural command of pitch and rhythm and to acquaint themselves with the topography of the keyboard, prior to the added challenge of analyzing and interpreting a musical score.
- Intermediate students graduate from method books to introductory selections from the classical repertoire. Technique is refined through mastery of scales, arpeggios, and other exercises to promote finger independence and overall physical precision.
- Advanced students are guided through an in-depth exploration of the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Twentieth-century, and contemporary music canons. Technical facility is refined and greater independence in theoretical analysis encouraged.
Dr. Ostermiller hosts two studio recitals per year at the Shetler Studios Penthouse in Midtown Manhattan. As an executive board member of the Piano Teachers Congress of New York, his students have access to all PTC-sponsored performance opportunities, including the annual Honors Program, a piano competition that culminates in cash prizes and performances at Carnegie Hall.
ABRSM GRADED EXAMINATIONS
Each year, Dr. Ostermiller prepares select students for the annual graded examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). The exams are an internationally recognized achievement system in which students perform for an adjudicator three solo works, scales, and arpeggios, as well as demonstrate proficiency in sight-reading and aural recall. Dr. Ostermiller's students have consistently received superior passing marks on the exams.
Advancement to the higher grades of ABRSM reflects particularly well on high school and college admission applications. To learn more, visit us.abrsm.org.