What makes music tick?­­

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Are you interested in understanding how music ticks? For example, what gives a rhythm its propulsive energy? What makes a chord sound fresh and inviting? And how does all of this relate to the act of playing or writing music?

As a composer, pianist, and music technologist, I come at these questions from several different angles. As a composer, I draw on my study of harmony, form, counterpoint, and orchestration, as well as decades of creative practice. As a pianist, I consider the embodied aspect of music, in which the relaxed choreography of the body leads to fluid musical expression. Finally, as a music technologist, I consider the physics and perception of sound, and how to encode musical structures as instructions to a computer.

My wife and I recently moved to Tualatin, and although I teach students virtually from around the world, I’m excited to build an in-person studio at our new home here. As a teacher, I am an ideal choice for students with wide-ranging curiosity: Perhaps you not only want to learn piano, but also want to try your hand at writing some music of your own. Or perhaps you’re already an experienced musician, but want to connect what you know with the physics of sound, or with computer programming. If this sounds like you, I’d be excited to hear from you!

In terms of credentials, I have a PhD in Music Composition from UC Santa Barbara, a master’s degree from Stanford in Music Science and Technology, and an bachelor’s degree in both piano and composition from Stanford. As a composer, I have presented my work at concerts and festivals throughout the US and abroad, and have years of experience teaching composition both privately and at the college level. As a pianist, I have performed a range of music, from standard repertoire to contemporary music to my own compositions. And as a music technologist, I am the creator of the SCAMP libraries for Computer-Assisted Music in Python, as well as a YouTube channel devoted to music and creative coding.

That said, I enjoy teaching students of every level, including total beginners. No matter how long you have been learning music, you are never truly done mastering the basics. So even if you have never touched a piano, created a note of music, or written a line of computer code, don’t hesitated to reach out!

You can learn more about my teaching at teaching.marcevanstein.com and my music at marcevanstein.com.

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