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January 08, 1988 - Image 52

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-01-08

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Fascinatin' Rhythm

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52

FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 1988


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performers alone. "For those
who have the necessary love
and commitment to go for it
anyway, these realities will
not spoil their enthusiasm."
In actuality, Rosenfeld says
that there are probably more
professional music oppor-
tunities today than exist in
other artistic areas.
Rosenfeld is among the
newer breed of academically-
trained musicians. He sees
this phenomenom as "a good
thing because it lends
credibility to the music pro-
fession."
Whereas he acknowledges
that there are young people
who through their own, or
through parental, pressure
force themselves to focus on-
ly on achievement and that
some of these are very suc-
cessful, for the most part no
one should sacrifice the
rewards which come from the
enjoyment of developing "a
sense of life."
Rosenfeld said he believes
youngsters in this country to-
day suffer from being a part
of a "satisfaction-oriented
culture," reinforced by televi-
sion and videos."
"A little gymnastics, a little
soccer, a little ballet — not too
much of one thing, move
around, keep going — it's
good that the child may be ex-
posed to a lot, but it's also
part of the escapist mentali-
ty of the quick fix." He says
that on one extreme are the
parents who place too much
pressure on their youngsters
and on the other are those to
give their children the
message that whatever they
do is OK and however they do
it is OK.
He recalls students wanting
to play Fame two weeks after
their first lesson. The single
most difficult problem he has
faced in his 15 years of
teaching is "walking the
tight rope" of allowing the
child to play what gives him
or her pleasure and, at the
same time, making sure the
student gets a solid fun-
damental, classical music
education. He recommends
that children practice half-an-
hour a day at least six days a
week.
Rosenfeld said he feels that
the Suzuki Method is
"remarkable" for developing
a child's ear, teaching techni-
que, and producing rapid
results. In addition, the
method emphasizes the im-
portance of the group, incor-
porates parental involvement,
and provides a foundation for
music-making as a family ex-
perience. Occasionally,
however, "the refinement of
the musicianship may suffer
unless it's cultivated by a real
master-teacher."

Beethoven and Schumann are two favorite Rosenfeld composers.

After receiving his Ph.D.
degree, Rosenfeld continued
private professional work,
teaching and playing in a
music ensemble, the Poulenc
Chamber Players, which was
largely funded by New York
state and county grants. He
credits the group with doing
"some real ground-breaking"
programs, including lecture-
demonstrations in schools,
concerts for senior citizens,
series for cultural centers and
special holiday performances.
In addition, Rosenfeld sup-
plemented his income by
playing the organ in a church
and arranged music an ac-
companied the choir for the
High Holidays at Temple
Beth Shalom in Smithtown,
N.Y., from 1984 1986.
A new resident of the
Detroit metropolitan area,
Rosenfeld has expressed his
desire to become involved in
the local Jewish community.
"I would enjoy doing pro-
grams of 'popular' classical
music, along with works that
should be better known.
Perhaps I'll call it "Best of the
Least Known Works? " He
would also like to bring the
lecture-demonstration format
to the Detroit area.
The chairman of the piano
department, Rosenfeld's main
responsibilities at the in-
stitute are administrative,
along with some teaching.
Rosenfeld is pleased that
the institute has already ar-
ranged for him to perform in
the community. He has
played concerts at Oakland
University and for the board
of trustees of the institute.
Every musician has his
favorite composers. Rosenfeld
chooses two, Beethoven,
whose Emperor Concerto he
selected for his audition at
the institute, and Schumann,
with whose music he also
feels personally very close.
"Schumann's Scenes from
Childhood turned me on,

-

because I could really relate
to perfect happiness. His im-
ages, his sensitivity, his color,
his creativity are astounding
to me. Of all composers, I feel
he may have been the
greatest?'
Rosenfeld's parents had
definite ideas about careers
for their son. "I was good at
golf in high school, and my
father wanted me to be a pro-
fessional golfer, but my
mother wanted me to be a
musician. I felt I was better at
music, but I still love golf and
I hope to play a couple of
times a week this spring and
summer?'
"A bachelor all these years,
I've also gotten to enjoy cook-
ing. I do a real good manicot-
ti."
One thing his Royal Oak
apartment lacks is a piano,
Rosenfeld admits. Two years
out of his degree program, the
musician has come to terms
with "the real world. It's not
so much due to a lack of
space," he acknowledges, "but
more a lack of finances." -E1

Lively 'Grimm"
At The Center

The Maple/Drake Jewish
Community Center's Sundae
Sunday Childrens Theatre
will present the live stage
production of "The Not So
Grimm Brothers and Their
Sister" 2 p.m. Jan. 17.
The original program that
features Jacob and Wilhelm
Grimm who, along with their
sister Charlotte, update for to-
day's young audiences many
of their most treasured
classics.
Written and directed by
John W. Puchalski, the pro-
duction features professional
Detroit-area performers from-
Crossroads Productions, Ltd.
There is a charge for the per-
formance. For information,
call Jo Greene, 661-1000, ext.
346.

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