Teacher Profile: Ivan Liptak

Ivan Liptak

Ivan Liptak

Instrument(s): Guitar, Piano

City: Washington, DC

Education: Hampshire College

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    About Ivan Liptak

    Ivan Liptak is a Piano, Guitar, and Voice instructor who enjoys teaching performance, composition, and the many forms of music. With experience in a wide range of settings, Ivan is eager to grow further in his own journey and share his knowledge with his students.

    As a child in New York City, Ivan’s first instrument was the guitar. Beginning with rock and blues during elementary and middle school, he took lessons both inside and outside of school. He then began to study jazz in high school, taking private lessons with local jazz guitarist Greg Loman and performing in the Jazz Ensemble at Sidwell Friends School. During the summer, he attended the Berklee five-week music program for jazz guitar. In college he took private lessons with classical guitarist Phillip De Fremery at Amherst College. He completed every level of the Music Theory curriculum and participated in many performance ensembles. As a highlight, he also attended the Summer Institute of Contemporary Performance Practice at the New England Conservatory.

    As a secondary instrument, Ivan began learning piano in middle school. He took a beginners' piano course to start and practiced avidly as an independent learner until high school when he received private lessons. In college he continued to play and perform pieces by Bela Bartok, Phillip Glass, Meredith Monk, and Erik Satie. He often uses piano as a tool for composition and music theory, performing in both the classical and the jazz idioms. In addition to piano, Ivan teaches voice along with piano and guitar as a way for students to explore their instrumental study from a different perspective.

    Ivan started teaching private lessons during high school and went on to major in Performance Pedagogy in college. During his collegiate years, he was also a teaching assistant in the Jazz Improvisors’ Lab and in Contemporary Musical Practices, a twenty-first century music theory course at Hampshire College. He taught rock band classes at a summer camp in Maine for kids ages 7-13 and worked on his thesis by teaching piano and guitar in a public school in Massachusetts for grades 7-12.

    Ivan is personable and well-equipped to share his knowledge about the many facets of music theory and technique, and loves to devote his time to the study of all things music. He particularly enjoys new music, and he prides himself on keeping a very open mind. When Ivan meets his students, he creates lessons and finds pieces best suited for the individual, their learning style, and their music interests. He believes that patience and persistence are the best tools to turn anyone into a great musician.

    Learning to perform and compose music was very formative for Ivan in his younger years and allowed him to explore his creative and analytical interests. He teaches music to students so they can experience the same growth and enjoyment that he did when he was younger and still does today.

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