Montréal-born Mr. Irschick is a seasoned teacher of piano, theory, history, keyboard harmony, and composition of some 45 years. He holds degrees/diplomas from the University of Windsor (Board of Governors Medal), the Royal Conservatory of Music (teachers included Gordon Hallett of the Leschetizky lineage, and Samuel Dolin, himself a student of Krenek), and the University of Toronto. He is an Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced Specialist in both piano and theory disciplines in the RCM graded system. Additionally, he attended master classes with Mme. Dusi Mura (piano and chamber music). Numerous students have received awards and/or advanced degrees in piano and composition, including Timothy Pressey (Silver Medal, RCM Piano), and noted composers Jordan Pal, DMA, and Benjamin Sajo, MMus. Mr. Irschick is currently Director of Music at Riverside United Church in Ottawa. He is also the duo partner with gifted Ottawa violinist Anna Baksheeva. As composer and arranger, his works exceed 100 in number, many of them compositions for choir, vocal, and instrumental solo.
Piano lessons conducted at the 0FAA follow the RCM system of music education in piano and theory. Among the many reasons for this choice are the following:
- its proven pedagogical progression from elementary to concert level
- its comprehensive approach, including technique, theory, history, sight reading, ear training, and improvisation/keyboard harmony
- its inclusiveness and scholarship which inform the choice of repertoire in its syllabus from all eras and in all styles
- its graded examinations and certificates reflecting real technical and artistic progress
Is Theory Essential?
The answer to that question is an unqualified “YES!” Just as grammar is the systematic description of how a language works, so theory provides the necessary foundation for musical literacy from rudimentary to advanced levels. Included in the study of theory are the following: rudiments, harmony, history, counterpoint, analysis, and form. Of particular interest to composers are keyboard harmony, orchestration, advanced ear training, and dictation.