Alex Wasserman, D.M.A., began formal piano lessons at age 15. “I started the piano at kind of a late age,” he says. “I think there were a number of factors that led me to the piano, but for the most part, I just fell in love with piano music.”
Wasserman’s love of piano music continues to this day, and it’s a love he shares with his students and with the community. As an assistant professor of music at Reinhardt University, Wasserman teaches both general music and piano specific classes. “Students who come to Reinhardt to study piano are going to study with me.” Wasserman also regularly performs at Reinhardt’s Falany Performing Arts Center (FPAC) as well as at venues throughout the state.
“As a child, I didn’t think too much about what I wanted to do with piano. Once I decided to major in music in college, I knew I would have to get my doctorate. My dream was to get a job at a university teaching good students and to perform, which I have been fortunate enough to do at Reinhardt.” And Reinhardt students are fortunate to have Wasserman as their guide.
In the classroom, Wasserman says he enjoys turning students on to classical music. “It has a horrible stigma as being stodgy, boring stuff, which it isn’t. So many people think of classical music as background music for relaxation, but it’s really not that at all. It’s something that needs to be studied and listened to with intensity – that’s when you really get the most fulfillment. It takes work. It’s really very intense and complex.”
As piano teacher, Wasserman takes his teaching beyond a weekly lesson with his students. He describes learning piano as a journey. “It’s a deep psychological journey. It’s a physical journey. It’s more involved than most people think.” Wasserman describes what he does with his piano students as more of mentorship. “I offer all of myself to my students and guide them through the journey, helping them realize that class far more than simply ‘a class’ – it is something special and worth their time and presence!”
Wasserman is also the founder and director of the Reinhardt Piano Festival and Academy, which he started in 2015. “We offer an intensive five-day festival each summer for mostly high school age pianists, from intermediate to highly advanced players.” The Piano Festival brings in guest artists and hosts concerts every night. Students participate in master classes, clinics, and workshops each day and have the opportunity to perform. “We host world class players, so students get the opportunity to study with the crème de la crème.”
Outside of music, Wasserman has many hobbies, but his favorite is aviation. “I’m an airplane fanatic!” He is taking flying lessons and working toward obtaining his pilot’s license. He even built a two-seat flight simulator in his basement!