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Sally Sargent

Piano / Fortepiano



"Pour avoir étudié le piano ancien et moderne pendant presque trente ans, sur trois continents, dans trois conservatoires internationaux, j'apprécie plus que tout l'enseignement et la conduite musicale de Sally Sargent.
A chaque leçon, elle centre son attention sur les fondements de mon jeu pour faire évoluer positivement, efficacement et durablement ma musicalité. Sa pédagogie en profondeur favorise l'autonomie, elle fournit une variété infinie d'outils qu'il appartient à chacun de ré-employer et pratiquer.
Dès ma première leçon, mes habitues ont été bouleversées : l'arbitraire a fait place à une méthode créative et spontanée.
L'approche de Sally comprend vraiment et relie la syntaxe musicale à l'émerveillement et à la pure beauté du répertoire. Une façon de penser qui guide vers l'intuition musicale que l'on peut résumer par le précepte "penser comme un compositeur". On est poussé à travailler rigoureusement mais une fois sur scène, notre propre inspiration s'appuie sur des rouages lubrifiés et bien réglés.
Avant d'étudier auprès de Sally, j'étais musicalement inexpérimenté et manquais de confiance en moi.  En effet, même une simple introduction à quatre mesures d’une lied de Schubert me remplissait d’appréhension qui ne se calmait que lorsque le chanteur entrait. Grâce à Sally et ce qu’elle m’a enseigné et transmis sur la manière d’aborder chaque aspect de mon jeu (commençant avec des choix de répertoire, à travers des lectures et des indications, travaillant de manières diverses et éventuellement jouant en concert), j’ai été capable, et en toute confiance, de devenir moi- même, de développer mon propre jeu de musicien et de me sentir entièrement satisfait de mes choix musicaux (même s’il reste toujours une place pour s’améliorer encore !).
Il est difficile de décrire les leçons de Sally car chacune d’elles est différente des autres ; cela me fait dire que chaque élève reçoit une feuille de route propre à lui, basée sur son profil tout à fait personnel.
Enfin, et par dessus tout, je voudrais conclure en recommandant Sally à tout pianiste sérieux et désireux de trouver sa propre voie. Que vous travailliez sur un répertoire ancien, classique ou moderne, que vous travailliez sur des instruments anciens ou modernes, vous ne trouverez pas de professeur plus apte à vous aider à révéler les mystères de la musique et de ses instruments que Sally !"

"Having studied pianos both ancient and modern for nearly thirty years on three continents and three international conservatories, Sally Sargent stands high above all others as a pedagogue and musical guide. Each and every lesson I have had with her works with an aspect of my playing or music-making on a fundamental level, resulting in effective and lasting positive change. Truly her pedagogy works at the deepest level and encourages independence: she provides a seemingly-endless variety of tools which are then up to each individual to employ.
After my first lesson with Sally I completely altered my practising habits, as arbitrariness was banished and a system of creative and spontaneous systemisation began.
Sally's musical approach blends a deep understanding of that which binds the syntax of music with a sense of wonder at the pure beauty of the repertoire.
The thought process which leads to different musical insights seems to me to stem from the maxim "think like a composer". One is challenged to work very scrupulously but to trust in that work at the moment of performing, allowing ones own inspiration and insight to coexist with the nuts-and-bolts which have been solidified along the way.
Previous to receiving lessons from Sally I was musically incomplete and lacked confidence. Indeed, even a simple four-bar introduction to a Schubert Lied filled me with apprehension which would only subside once the singer entered. Through Sally's patient and insightful transmission of how to approach every aspect of my playing (beginning with repertoire choices, through reading/fingering, working in diverse ways and eventually concertising), I was able to confidently be my own person, my own musician and be fulfilled and satisfied by my musical choices (even as one always concedes that there is room for further growth!).
It's difficult to describe a lesson with Sally, in that each one is different from the last and one gets the feeling that each pupil receives a different roadmap based on their individual profile. Given this last fact and all of the above, I would recommend Sally Sargent to any serious pianist wishing to find their path. Whether working on early, middle or late repertoire, whether on modern or historical instruments; for me, there is no better person suited to helping one unlock the mysteries of the music and its instruments than Sally Sargent."

Anthony Romaniuk. August 2016


Traduction: "Ms. Sargent is one of the few musicians inheriting the spirit of greatest legendary pianists and teachers such as Nadia Boulanger. She has a profound knowledge about instruments, historical performance, musical aesthetics and music history. However, the most astonishing feature she has as a piano teacher is not only her knowledge but also the deep passion for the discovery and establishment of “individuality," which each pianist should reach. Her original teaching method is a magic that helps pianists to explore their not yet discovered true self.  The magic is well organized within her brain, therefore, the path she indicates is simple and clear. Her thoughtful words lead passionate pianists to the true self in gradual steps. Ms. Sargent is a unique philosopher, who continues exploring the core of classical music which forms a stream of real positive energy. In short, Ms. Sargent grants the survival power necessary to confront every situation in the life of the next generation through music."

Megumi TANNO. November 2014

"Sally Sargent is a forte-piano specialist whose understanding of the instrument and its performance practice are beyond reproach. Her many years of research and meticulous investigation are evident in her ability to take the pedantic poundings of students and transform them into lyrical and graceful music making. Sally's understanding of the physiology of the hand and its application to piano technique is not only musically insightful but also holistic in its ability to redeem and repair the abuse inflicted on the hands of a performer through poor technique and practice habits. Ms. Sargent possesses a remarkable breadth and scope of historical and pragmatic information, which she generously imparts to all of her students. The studio of Sally Sargent is a must for aspiring pianists."

Dr. Geraldine M. Rohling, Ph.D., M.A.Ed. Washington, D.C.

"Our extensive work together is always interesting and always rich in new musical insights. Ms. Sargent has a unique talent of crystallizing beautiful musical phrases from intricate physiological movements . Her immense knowledge and inquisitive mind enables her to parse technically challenging passages in centuries of keyboard literature, in a way coinciding with the composers innate musical intentions. She is certainly a pedagogue and musician for both advanced keyboardists and young professionals. Furthermore, what a great sense of humour !!!!"

Craig Frederick Humber
- B. Sc. (Physics / Math) Acadia University (1998),
- Diplomorganist (Hochschule für Musik und Theater Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Leipzig (2005),
- Postgraduales Orgelstudium Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Vienna (2007),
- Künstlerisches Aufbaustudium Orgel Musikhochschule Lübeck

"I would like to take this opportunity to speak on behalf of Sally Sargent. She is an excellent musician and teacher whose knowledge of the technical and musical demands of the keyboard literature and ability to transmit this knowledge through her musicianship,passion and sensitivity are unique. It was a great pleasure for me to have worked with her. Her approach toward the keyboard is incredibly economical and helps to develop an intense awareness of one's own capabilities and individual musical voice. Her teaching has been a great influence on my own approach to teaching. As a pianist and vocal coach, I am confronted daily with musicians and students, who have many different needs and abilities. Sally Sargent works with great integrity and compassion. These are qualities, in which I deeply believe. Thank you."

Professor Michael David Mills Folkwang-Hochschule Klemensborn, Essen

"Sally Sargent is a splendid musician. With American roots, French training with such universally applauded musicians as Nadia Boulanger (composition and harmony) and Marcel Ciampi (piano) combined with her musical experience in Vienna, she is truly an international artist of the first order."

Curtis Stotlar & Piano WCM faculty member since 1999. M.S., Juilliard School (Beveridge Webster); B.M., Eastman School of Music (Cecile Genhart, Eugene List, Frank Glazer); Doctoral Program, Peabody Conservatory.

"Während meines Studiums lernte ich Sally Sargent.kennen. Welch eine Bereicherung für meine musikalische Entwicklung! Sie ist ein wunderbarer Mensch, eine immens kompetente wie auch konsequente Künstlerin und Pädagogin, die mich auf vielen Ebenen inspirierte, forderte und immer unterstützte. Ihr Grenzen überschreitendens und Epochen verknüpfendes Wissen verhilft mir bei alter wie auch bei neuer Musik zu immer neuen, spannenden Erkenntnissen. Ich komme noch heute gerne zu Sally und weiß, daß sich in jeder Begegnung mein musikalisher Horizont erweitern wird."

Maja Mijatovic-Cembalistin und Flötistin Absolventin der Universität für Musik Wien

"Sally Sargent's teaching on historical and modern keyboard playing opens a perspective of music making where playing, singing, composing and conducting become one. Sally helps to bring these fundamental sources into focus: with her tremendous knowledge, intuition and experience she can help to gain awareness and train the senses, and so offers profound solutions for all sorts of troubles that occur to players, be they of physical or mental nature. I want to thank Sally for what she taught me in different stages of my development."

Angela Koppenwallner-Teacher of cembalo and clavichordInstitut für Tasteninstrumente Universität Mozarteum, Salzburg

"Sally Sargent is an exceptionally gifted musician and teacher. Through her teachings, she truly offers an insight into the performance practices of the 19th Century: creating bridges between the modern pianistic ways and those of old. She possesses the skill to carry out any given musical phrase to perfection: analyzing every possible aspect from fingering, touch, wrist movement, and quality of tone, to phrasing and musical expression. The methods used are simple and straight-forward, yet require immense powers of concentration on the part of the student. When these practices are adhered to, advancement is rapid, technique transforms, and potentials – realized. I have always found Sally eager to impart her vast knowledge to the full, and with total conviction. I am continuously inspired, and regard it as a great privilege to work with Sally."

Sharona Joshua-International fortepianist and harpsichordist Director and founder of ensemble Concerto ChristoforiVisiting fortepiano tutor at Birmingham University sharonajoshua.com

"Ich arbeite seit 3 Jahren mit Sally Sargent zusammen, und dennoch entdecke ich in jeder Stunde mit ihr Neues und Wunderbares in der Musik. Sie unterstützt mich in meiner Entwicklung durch ihre langjährige Erfahrung als Pianistin und Musikpädagogin durch ihr umfangreiches Wissen in vielen Bereichen. In der musikalischen Zusammenarbeit mit ihr fühle ich mich einerseits menschlich sehr wohl und andererseits im Einlassen auf die Musik befreit.
Sally Sargent ist nicht nur eine hervorragende Lehrerin, sondern auch eine ausgezeichnete Musikerin und ein wunderbarer Mensch."

MA Sayuri Matsuda-Hirano, pianist, teaching at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien, Gesangsabteilung

"I have known Sally Sargent since the early 1990s, and I have studied piano with her off and on ever since that time. I consider her my only major teacher. Were it not for Sally, I very likely would not be playing the piano today. I began playing relatively late and nearly all of my early training was poor or inadequate. By the time I was in graduate school, I had severe technical problems, compounded by — or perhaps resulting from — the fact that I had never been taught how to learn music or how to hear.

It is no exaggeration to say that Sally has completely remade me as a musician and as a pianist. She not only remade my entire physical approach to the instrument, but also my entire approach to hearing, understanding, and learning music. It is a fundamental principle of her teaching that there is no separation between music, musicianship, and technique. It is all one package. Through Sally’s teaching, my playing has been utterly transformed over the past few years, and I now play professionally, both as a classical and a jazz pianist. I also owe to Sally the deep sense of how to hear and think about music, skills that have helped me become an excellent vocal coach, accompanist, and piano teacher in my own right. I was trained as a musicologist, and I continue to be very active in the academic study of music, particularly in the areas of music cognition and learning. Here too, I owe much of the profound transformation in my thinking to insights that Sally has given me.

It is rare to find a teacher who instantly can see the essence of an individual student. Sally saw beneath the deeply flawed and poorly trained pianist that I was when I first met her and grasped the musical potential within. And she took the time to nurture that potential, without regard to any stereotypes about age or talent (I began to study with her in my late 30s). I find myself constantly referring to Sally in my own teaching, whether at the piano or in the classroom. As a music historian, I feel I am qualified to say that Sally has the deepest and most profound knowledge of the history of piano playing of any person alive, and she is able to use that knowledge to help her students find their own paths to playing with extraordinary beauty, depth of thought, and security. She is superb pianist in her own right, and the most deeply musical person I have ever met, with a unparalleled knowledge of the interpretation of music from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods.

I have known very many extraordinarily gifted and brilliant people during my career. But Sally is the only one of these people I feel justified in calling a genius. I think she is among the most gifted and accomplished piano teachers active in the world today, and I feel tremendously honored and grateful to have been able to study with her."

Dr. Dexter Edge is an internationally known authority on the music of Mozart and his Viennese contemporaries. He is currently Executive Editor of Music of the United States of America, and a lecturer in musicology at the University of Michigan.