Join NVMTA Find-A-Teacher NVMTA on Facebook

65 Years of Outstanding Music Education

The Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association, top Local Music Teachers Association 2004, provides diverse educational opportunities for teachers and students in pursuit of personal growth in music.  Its mission:  to stimulate the study and enjoyment of music, to broaden the vision and expertise of its members, to promote musical culture in the community and to reinforce the objectives of its state and national organizations.  Join!


NVMTA February 24, 2016 Program
Bonnie Kellert
How can I get my student to play like THAT?

bonnie kellert
What makes a performance so special?  Think back on a performer that you admired – what attributes attracted you to their playing?  Sparkling trills, facile scale work, dynamic nuances, phrasing, tone production, personal interpretation?

How can your students achieve that?  How do we teach students to accomplish skillful technical proficiency and craft a mature, musical interpretation?  I suggest that the foundation for these accomplishments be established from the onset.  In the beginning years, goals should be set high and musicianship nurtured.  Important, too, is tone production, a wide dynamic palette, attention to articulation and all markings in the score, to produce a well-balanced and mature interpretation.  Encouraging story telling personalizes the interpretation and inspires communication with the audience.

As teachers, consider this for your students:  Repertoire selection is of paramount importance.  Students can “grow into” a piece, but if repertoire is definitely “out of reach” frustration can set in and lead to future performance anxieties.  Repertoire should be age appropriate and within the student’s abilities.  Work with students on technical hurdles as they evolve but avoid pieces that present struggles and unwanted stress.  Optimally, repertoire should reflect a student’s personal connection to the piece or the composer.

Explore ideas with your students to facilitate their understanding of the music.  Students should aim for a musical, technically secure performance that is personally gratifying.

Bonnie Kellert is in constant demand as a performer, lecturer, mentor, adjudicator and master class presenter. She has presented numerous solo recitals in metropolitan Washington, D.C. including the National Gallery of Art, Phillips Collection, Cosmos Club, Textile Museum, American University, McDaniel College and Strathmore Mansion Hall. She has been featured on radio and television in Washington, D.C. and abroad, and has given recitals in Europe and Bangkok, Thailand. Her performances have elicited these comments:

  • “Miss Kellert is a musician who has command of the keyboard, a brilliant mentality and a dramatic flair balanced by sensitive insight.”
  • “Kellert demonstrated her mastery of classical-era fugal intricacies…the pianist seems to have special feeling for Chopin’s Polish Zal (soul) music, for there was an ecstatic pulse throughout that only the most sensitive artists can sustain. All her playing is imbued with unpretentious, unspoiled musicality”…
  • Ann Schein: “I have heard your CD and love it. The Bach is so eloquent and done with great authority. Thank you for the gift of your soul.”
  • Leon Fleisher: “Bonnie Kellert has worked with me…and has proven to be a most talented and professional young musician.

Miss Kellert won first prize in the Washington International Competition for Pianists and the Jordan Piano Award, and was a semi-finalist in the first William Kapell International Piano Competition. She is a recipient of the WBAL Radio Achievement Award in Baltimore and the Peabody Conservatory Alexander Sklarevski Award. A scholarship student of Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, she earned her B.M. and M.M. in Piano Performance.

Highly regarded as a faculty member at the Levine School of Music for twenty-two years, Miss Kellert currently maintains her private studio in Potomac, MD. Her award winning students have performed in master classes for Ruth Laredo, Susan Starr, Brian Ganz, Marvin Blickenstaff, Leon Bates, Thomas Mastroianni and others. She has been published in KeyBoard Companion and the Piano Pedagogy Forum and has served as president of Washington (D.C.) MTA and Montgomery County MTA. She has presented master classes that include McDaniel College, the Levine School of Music, Southern New Jersey MTA and the Shanghai Conservatory in Mainland China. Recital-Presentations include for the Levine School of Music, Maryland State Music Teachers Association Convention, New England Piano Teachers Association, Central East Division of the Ohio MTA and local associations of Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee and Maryland Music Teacher Associations.