Lessons in Los Angeles?

Posted: 10/28/2011 3:25:22 PM

From: Los Angeles, CA

Joined: 10/28/2011

I just received my first theremin for my birthday. Needless to say I am an absolute beginner.

I live in Los Angeles and am looking for someone who might offer lessons.

I recognize from other threads that there is some disagreement about the effectiveness of learning from someone else vs. teaching yourself. I am really looking for someone to just get me started. Anyone out there know of someone teaching in the Los Angeles area?

Thanks so much,
Posted: 10/28/2011 4:39:46 PM
RS Theremin

From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA

Joined: 2/15/2005

CallMeIshmael said:

[i]“I recognize from other threads that there is some disagreement about the effectiveness of learning from someone else vs. teaching yourself. “[/i]

Hello Neighbor,

Do I see Catalina Island on a hazy day in your picture?

There are always disagreements in the world of theremin, everyone is an expert! Just kidding someone else always says that who is an excellent musician but not near LA.

I know the instrument quite well but never really practice playing it. The theremin has several fascinating dimensions. I like the technical side. I think in six months after the theremin totally humbles you, as it will, we should chat again. You would then have great appreciation for the ease of playing the classical sounding theremin I designed from scratch that reaches into “Such a Wondrous Place”.

I think your best bet is to study people that you enjoy their style of play on YouTube.

Now I sound like an echo again.

Others may chime in but the board has been really slow the past few weeks.


Posted: 10/28/2011 8:29:41 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008


With traditional instruments where there is a standardized technique for playing and method of teaching, anyone who is reasonably competent can teach you the basics. THIS IS NOT SO WITH THE THEREMIN. The theremin is so new and so different from any other known instrument that there is no universally accepted approach to playing it, and every thereminist has his or her own style.

Clara Rockmore said that the most important thing for beginner thereminists to know BEFORE they begin their journey, is where they want to end up - in other words, what sort of music they eventually want to be able to play on the instrument. Do you want to play Gluck, Gounod or Gaga? This will make a big difference to the best way to approach the instrument.

I always tell people the best way to learn the theremin is to imitate, as closely as possible, the playing technique of the thereminist whose music you most admire, until your own style and character kick in spontaneously. Never accept any advice from any thereminist whose music you do not like or have not heard.

"People expect to go over to the theremin and IT PLAYS. No! It takes hard work, sensitivity, sensibility....attention to detail. You have to learn it and it's not easy. The music comes from the heart, the mind, and years and years and years of the study of music." Clara Rockmore

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