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Bringing It Home – The Saint Rose Blog

Saint Rose Coordinator of Piano Named to Steinway Hall of Fame

Saint Rose professors teach without relying on teaching assistants. They lead small classes and make themselves available to support their students individually. Many of our faculty members across the disciplines earn external honors for their work.

A look at one professor’s recent recognition:

Young Kim, Professor of Piano; Coordinator of the Piano Program; Steinway Artist D.M.A., piano performance, University of Minnesota; Artist Diploma, Yale School of Music

Joined Saint Rose faculty: 2007

Teaches: Applied lessons for piano majors, piano pedagogy, piano literature; advanced keyboard. Prepares students for senior recitals and capstone projects. Founding member, Saint Rose Camerata faculty ensemble; founder, Young Kim and Saint Rose Pianists series; recipient, College’s Thomas A. Manion Distinguished Faculty Award

Expertise: Lectures, gives workshops at universities across the country and overseas on the practice of teaching piano

Performance career: Classical pianist who appears as a guest artist regionally, across the United States, and abroad, including Russia, Hungary, Thailand, and her native Korea

Latest distinction:  Inaugural member, Steinway & Sons Teacher Hall of Fame

Young Kim

Professor Young Kim

Professor Kim recently visited Steinway & Sons headquarters in Astoria, Queens, to see some of the most important figures in the piano world; people who have headed great music schools and concert halls and written influential instruction books.

She might have been going to see them perform or lecture, but instead, she had been invited to appear alongside these luminaries as a fellow member of the Steinway Teacher Hall of Fame.

“I was so honored and humbled to be one of the inductees among famous teachers, including Professor Gary Graffman, who has taught some of our most legendary pianists, such as my former teacher Lydia Artymiw, Lang Lang, and Professor Ingrid Clarfield,” Kim says, showing the Clarfield book she uses in her teaching. “They lift me up.”

Kim is among 43 professionals from the U.S. and Canada inducted into the inaugural Steinway Teacher Hall of Fame in October. She took part in a red carpet ceremony and two days of events. She met her mentors. Her name now appears on a display wall inside New York’s historic Steinway factory.

A classical pianist who appears on stages from Schenectady to Seoul, Kim is accustomed to applause after she performs Beethoven or George Crumb. But it is rare – even unheard of – to be honored for the day-to-day business of teaching.

“I am a performer. But the main job is as a music educator,” she explains. “And in a way, I feel more honored being recognized for teaching.

“This recognizes that teaching is not easy,” Kim adds. “You nurture the students and give them confidence. You need to be a good mentor and guide them to express themselves through music and get the best from their personality. And you don’t always know how you are doing. This gives me the encouragement to keep going for the rest of my life.”

Young Kim with Gary Graffman

Young Kim with classical pianist Gary Graffman

The nomination came from Paul Jennings, owner of Artist Pianos in Latham, one of just two Steinway dealerships in upstate New York. Kim has gotten to know Jennings in her decade at Saint Rose as the College expanded the piano program and its collection of Steinways.

Jennings was impressed with the quality of the Saint Rose piano program and its growth.  He also saw that Kim’s pianists bring their talents into the community through her Young Kim and Saint Rose Pianists series, and other performances in local schools, senior centers, and concert halls.

“He could have nominated educators from any music school upstate, but he chose Saint Rose. I think he saw that I was teaching good students, and they were doing a great job out there,” she concludes.

What the honor means to her students: “They were so proud that they were studying with me. I can see the pride in their eyes: ‘Teacher is being recognized, and I’m studying with her.’ We celebrated.”

– By Jane Gottlieb

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