Testimonials, feedback and reviews of Andy Wasserman's work as an educator, performer and recording artist :
Dear Mr. Wasserman:
You have given me so much over the last 3 years. I have learned more from you than from anyone else I've ever studied with and than I ever expected to. You have opened my eyes and ears to new territories in the areas of studying, playing, listening to and writing music. And perhaps most importantly - to me, at least - I feel that you have set me on the path that I will begin to travel in the coming months and follow for the rest of my life (God willing). As I head off to college to study music composition at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, I am giving you a bowl of fruit, symbolic of all the good things you have filled my "bowl" with over the past 3 years. Thank you so much!!
To Andy Wasserman:
Our four children who have been taking private lessons with you for many years have been blessed with the perfect teacher to bring out their talents. We are so fortunate to have you and we really appreciate all you have done for all the kids. We couldn't have asked for a more dedicated teacher.
Dear Mr. Wasserman:
We appreciate the many years of your dedicated teaching. We are certain that our son has benefited greatly from your expertise as a musician and your role as a mentor. When in the future he is faced with life's many challenges, you can be assured that your influence will surface as a steady and resounding resource. Thank you for being such a significant person in his life.
Dear Andy - Your artistry, warm humor, encouraging inspiration and insightful teaching perspective continues to be a blessing for our family. It's wonderful to see the optimism and motivation that has permeated our daughter's piano studies through the many creative approaches you've shared in her weekly lessons. It is amazing for us as parents to listen to her new original compositions and improvisations along with the Beethoven and Debussy classical piano pieces you have helped her master. We appreciate you sharing so much of your music, care and natural teaching style - we're so grateful for your miracles !
Dear Mr. Wasserman: You are a brilliant and talented teacher. We believe that each student has her/his own way to learn. We only need time and perseverance to realize which way is the best for each of them, and you know how to make it possible. This is an indispensable virtue in a teacher. Thank you so much for all your kindness and dedication.
Dear Andy - Even though we have just recently started lessons with you for our 9 year old son, please know you have ignited a spark back in him with his playing - and as a parent, it is the greatest thing to witness. I can’t get him off the piano! He is totally grooving on what you have shown him. Just wanted to thank you again! We feel like we hit the jackpot with you as his new teacher.
Mr. Wasserman: I will never find words to thank you enough for everything you have been sharing with my two daughters. Last week's lesson was especially good - caring and kind - you were outstanding! It was amazing seeing you doing everything my youngest girl requested you to teach her. I was also impressed by your dedication when I learned you transcribed by ear and notated an unpublished song for my oldest daughter because she wanted to play it but no sheet music was available. They loved the songs you gave them to work on and are so happy playing them on our piano. Thank you so much.
Dear Andy - I am writing you to express my gratitude for the gifts you have given me through your teachings over the last 2 years. My perception of the "how, what, and why" of music has been very much expanded and this in turn has increased the depth of my fascination and inspiration in music as an art form. In my short life of 18 years so far, I truly am unable to think of any teacher who has offered me so much kindness and time outside of their job description (as a mentor). For this, I will always be astounded and thankful. One day, hopefully, I will be able to pass this kindness on to others who need it as much as I did. Thank you so very much for everything. May I continue to be inspired, fascinated, and inoculated by music through your exemplary teaching as I continue to study with you in the years to come.
Dear Mr. Wasserman:
I wanted to say thank you so much everything this year. I have learned so much from you, not just about music, but about all aspects of life. I have enjoyed talking with you about family, God, music, etc. You have been a great inspiration for me and I always walked away from our lessons feeling motivated. You are an amazing teacher, a great friend, and an incredible musician.
For Andy Wasserman:
I want you to know that I think you have been the best teacher I have ever had. Not just musically, but in general. During our work together on the Lydian Chromatic Concept (George Russell's LCCOTO) you helped to completely change my direction as a musician and in life. It is hard to imagine where I would be now had I not met you.
AN ADULT STUDENT WHO TAKES LONG-DISTANCE LESSONS ONLINE VIA VIDEO CHAT WITH ANDY WASSERMAN:
Andy, I want to thank you for the time we've spent together at the piano. I've enjoyed listening to the audio I record to document our weekly lessons while driving my car each day. You're really a gifted teacher and although I’m one of your new students, you have given me a sense of calm, confidence and excitement when playing the piano and/or composing. I'm very thankful to have been exposed to both you and George Russell’s LCCOTO - “The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization.”
FROM A PARENT OF A TEENAGE STUDENT:
“Andy Wasserman is not only a consummate musician, but an intuitive individual who possesses a variety of wisdoms that combine for an exceptional learning experience for each of his music students. Our 15 year-old daughter has been studying piano with Mr. Wasserman for 15 months. She had studied piano from age 6 to 8 with a different instructor, but did not want to continue with piano lessons. At the age of 14, she wished to return to piano study. We were very fortunate to learn about Andy’s holistic and individualized instructional talents through mutual friends.
The growth in our daughter’s piano ability and her love to spend time at the piano over the last 15 months has been very significant, very remarkable. Emily is playing complex classical pieces by Beethoven and Chopin, experimenting with jazz chord progressions and melodies, and composing pieces of her own. Mr. Wasserman is very generous in locating and providing given pop or Broadway sheet music for Emily so that she is able to explore pieces within her own personal interests. Everyday we observe and marvel at the joy that she derives from “her music,” across many genres, as a result of Andy’s influence in her piano study.
The accelerated progression in piano ability and personal growth that our daughter has enjoyed is attributable to Andy’s unique and effective approach to music instruction and his love for his calling in life, to awaken within individuals the mindful and soulful benefits that music brings to each of us, its qualities that unite us. I studied piano formally for 17 years and continue to play actively. Day to day, I’m amazed at how far she progresses with her confidence and desire to learn more and enjoy more within music. Week to week, I hear the amazing connections that Andy makes between music genres (classical, jazz, pop, Broadway). We are grateful for the way he customizes his instruction to each student’s interest and ability, and we’re thankful for the mentorship that he extends to his students through his personal philosophy and music pedagogy. It’s wonderful to hear her play solo, but an added blessing to hear her play duets with her instructor. I’m grateful to share in our daughter's study and play duets with her in between lessons.
As an in-home instructor, we appreciate Andy’s timeliness, his reliability, and his flexibility when schedules “collide”. We feel that we receive a tremendous value for our tuition in that Andy provides customized music materials which have created a wonderful repertoire of musical pieces that a student can visit as much as he or she wishes. It’s an honor for us to esteem and endorse Mr. Wasserman as a truly unique and beloved music instructor.”
FROM THE LINER NOTES IN THE CD OF ONE OF WASSERMAN'S STUDENTS:
I would like to express appreciation to my long-time music teacher and mentor, Mr. Andy Wasserman, who taught me everything I know musically, and so much more. I thank him for his unending patience, his outstanding dedication and generosity. He was without a doubt the best teacher for me and without him, my stubbornness and misguided interests would have out-matched my creativity.
As much as he influenced my music, it doesn’t compare to his lessons of character and spirituality. He pushed me to reach my potential while giving me the freedom to be myself, and at the same time, keeping me grounded and always making sure I know who’s ultimately responsible for the talent I've been blessed with.
I don't know what to say except "thank you" for being the vessel through which the Creator confirms a presence and hand upon my life. Our work together continues to help me break down huge walls that I have spent a lifetime building around my limited ideas about music. You nurture my creative powers and help me renew and free myself from many misconceptions of what it means to be an artist.
I know that in the truest definition of the word "teacher" you do not feel a need to share your perspectives and revelations in order to be lauded or validated. You are first and foremost a teacher in the oldest and deepest sense of the word. You offer your students a lineage - not just information - and it is clear to me that the only thing you seek is understanding and profound experiences deep down in your spirit. I am filled with gratitude for these life's lessons that shine through my studies with you.
There is not another teacher on this earth who has the capability, the capacity, the tenacity and the "Agape Love" to teach what you have been teaching me. Your assignment on this earth is so much more difficult than most, but so much more hands-on and therefore extremely effective and intimate. I have always been in awe of your willingness to be open to discovering who you are through your musical journey.
Over the 8 years I have been your private student I've witnessed that you rarely falter in your walk despite the challenging life of being an artist in today's world. All I know is that through our work together, my inner being has been transformed and a burden I felt within has been lifted. Please accept my gratitude for continuing to reveal the Truth through your music and your teaching.
I enjoy all the music you so proudly present at my weekly lessons. I am thankful that you continually enourage me to dig deeper during the many years you've been my teacher and guide. My wish is that I may always keep an open mind and listen to my mentor. In addition to our work on the piano and learning the art of arranging, I hope the Lydian Chromatic Concept (The LCCOTO) will remain a force for me that grows and blossoms by uncovering the richness within it. I never lose sight of the purpose which has been planted witihin you that drives and motivates you to set an example by creating beauty and expressing it in your own way.
Testimonial posted on LydianChromaticConcept.com website:
I started studying the Lydian Chromatic Concept in May, 2002 with Andy Wasserman using the recently released revised edition. These past 9 years (of study with Andy, as of 2011) have been both enlightening and enriching. As a full time professional musician and music educator, there were deep things in music that I had grasped aurally but could not explain. These things are now crystal clear. Through the Concept the law of gravity is apparent. I was pulled towards the Concept, and through patience and research ended up discovering Andy. I would like to thank Maestro Russell, whose genius and perseverance created this tonal wonderland. The LCCOTO is heard in music all around us. The information in the latest edition is truly priceless!
By a private student upon graduating from High School:
Dear Mr. Wasserman
You have been an absolute inspiration over the past two years of private lessons. I have learned so much from you in regards to music and life. In many cultures, the butterfly is honored as a symbol of transformation - from egg, to caterpillar, to chrysalis, and from the cocoon, the butterfly emerges in its natural glory. Much like the butterfly, I too emerge changed from what I have learned from you.Thank you for everything. I will miss you!
College Entrance Application Essay answering the question "Who is the person in your field you admire the most?" Below is the answer submitted by a private student who Mr. Wasserman helped prepare for being a music major during the 4 years of High School. He was accepted to the Music Education program, graduated and went on to become a full-time music teacher in New Jersey public and private schools:
"Someone who stands out in my mind as a person I truly admire is a man named Andy Wasserman. Andy has been my piano teacher for the past four years, and besides being the one who has improved my playing ability, he has affected my life in many other ways.
Simply by seeing Andy at work has caused my personal beliefs to become much more adamant and dedicated. His work ethic, values and attitude have provided me with a strong adult role model whom I strive to emulate. As a professional musician Andy has heavy demands placed on his time including teaching his students, performing, and running his own multimedia music company. Andy has taught me that to reach my goals it will mean a great deal of work and very likely long hours. His strong work ethic was a trait that I immediately admired, and one I wished to adopt from him. Another trait Andy exhibits from which I have learned is his positive mental attitude.
He accomplishes his positive attitude through an intense love for his work. I believe it is incredibly important to enjoy everything that you do. Andy has taught me how essential it is to combine a positive mental attitude with a strong work ethic. This combination has enabled me to work hard at both my academics and music, and sometimes keep long hours because I love the "work" that I am doing.
It reminds me of a quote I once heard, "If you really love your job, you will never work a day in your life." This is very true because if you truly love that which you do, it does not seem to be work. Here again Andy has sets a great example for me which has led me to adopt and strengthen similar values. In all, I believe that Andy has provided an excellent role model for me and has taught me much more valuable life lessons in addition to piano and music theory."
Dear Mr. Wasserman: There are so many amazing memories of the time we've spent together over the years and lessons I've learned. The influence you've had on me is priceless. In this ever-changing world, my weekly one-hour private music lesson time slot with you has been the one constant duing the ten years of us working together. As I now move on to the next phase of my life and music career, I'll never forget our magical times together and I can't thank you enough for always being there to keep me honest, true and real. I know I wouldn't be the same musician and person I am today without you in my life to jam with and talk to. You've always been there to listen to my problems, crack jokes and keep me on the right path. I'm so blessed to have such a patient, caring, dedicated and giving teacher and friend.
From an advanced-level adult student:
Andy, You have been an AWESOME teacher and I've learned a TREMENDOUS amount from you. I kept telling my friends and family that I wish I took lessons from you when I was younger. Prior to working with you at age 30, I had piano lessons for 17 years - from age 4 through 21. Loved my teachers, but my classical trainings were so mechanical. You totally changed my paradigm about music. Music improvisation and composition is such a complex field, I don't even know how you go about teaching it ! You certainly have the wealth and depth of knowledge, experience and talent for music and the teaching of music.
Dear Andy: I want you to know how much I thoroughly enjoy my lessons with you. I fear that if our lessons ever stopped I would be hard-pressed to find a teacher like you who is willing to teach both CLASSICAL, BLUES and JAZZ, and to open my eyes to the amazing correspondence and connections between them.
Hello Andy: Your lessons have made such an impression on me, and have heavily influenced the course of my "path." Thank you for everything that you have done! Some seeds take many years to blossom..... I have been amazed to see so many beautiful and unexpected "flowers" popping up over the course of time!
"I began studying piano with Andy Wasserman a little more than a year ago, as an adult beginner (56-year-old) student. Learning the piano as an adult is a special challenge, yet Andy has shown unending patience and flexibility in his teaching. He crafts his lessons around my musical interests and enables me to progress at my own pace, always encouraging but never placing undue demands or expectations on me. As a teacher he invokes his long musical career and his own virtuosity on the piano in ways that enhance my understanding of piano history, styles, and technique. He also weaves in plenty of music theory, tying theory to practice in a way that makes his lessons more holistic and accessible. Andy is a wonderful conversationalist and storyteller, and our discussions have ranged far and wide, and often far beyond music. He's a consummate artist, dedicated both to his craft and to his students, and his passion for the piano is infectious. Andy is always punctual for our lessons and he's always flexible whenever I need to reschedule a lesson due to work or travel obligations. I highly recommend Andy as a piano teacher, and I'd be happy to talk further about Andy's teaching style with any prospective student or parent."
Dear Andy - The wonderful work you do is no doubt a major factor in the rehabilitation and continued education of many young people who want to do the right thing but have never had anyone who believes in them. And so, I suspect, you are that positive role model who helps them 'see the light', making their lives much improved.
A recent feedback evaluation of Andy Wasserman's Art-In-Education World Music Experience from BOCES:
Artistic Quality of Presentation
Andy Wasserman's program is quite unique. The performance is well balanced in terms of the educational and entertainment components. He demonstrated skill and dedication to his art; repertoire was appropriate and well-chosen for students' age and interest levels; art form was presented in an enjoyable, artistic manner.
Artist's Interaction with Students
Wasserman (a/k/a the "Artist") effectively engaged students in the program; artist listened to student comments/questions and responded appropriately.
Educational Quality of Presentation
Artist helped students to understand this art form and the creative process; artist demonstrated relationships between art form and other curriculum areas; artist helped children to see/hear with greater discrimination; artist used vocabulary terms that were within the grasp of students.
Student Response to Presentation
Artist engaged students' interest and attention; applause and laughter was genuine and enthusiatic; restlessness was minimal; when invited to participate, students were eager; questions to artist indicated that students understood the presentation.
Quality of Presentation
Speaker could be easily heard; performer could be seen; lighting, props and sound effects were effective; costumes were imaginative, colorful and appropriate; elements of surprise and humor were included in presentation; program was well-paced; program began and ended on time.
Study Guides/Support Materials
Yes, they were provided to school staff by the Andy Wasserman.
PROGRAM REVIEW: APRIL 2014 BOCES ARTS-IN-ED NEWSLETTER "The Star"
Program Name: “Music: The Voice of Unity” - [view the newsletter in it's entirety at THIS LINK]
Written and submitted by the Half Hollow Hills (Long Island, NY) District Arts-in-Education Committee
In January 2014, students at Otsego Elementary School (Half Hollow Hills) participated in “Music: The Voice of Unity.” This highly interactive music residency program, led by presenter Andy Wasserman, exposed the students to different cultures around the world through the universal language of music. During his engaging presentation, Mr. Wasserman took the students on a voyage, using music as the means of travel. He demonstrated over 60 wind, string and percussion instruments, made of 15 natural materials, from around the world. The students heard a vibrant tapestry of the traditional sounds – melodies, rhythms, harmonies, textures and forms – of Asian, West African, South American, Middle Eastern and Native American Indian cultures. The entertaining, non-stop lively interaction provided a wealth of information and highlighted the similarities and differences between the various cultures.
We are looking forward to Mr. Wasserman’s visit next year, when he will present “Instruments: Ancient to Future.” The program looks at the connections between traditional acoustic performance and electronic musical performance, using state-of-the-art digital music technology. It was a pleasure to work with Andy Wasserman, who is celebrating his 35th year as a professional presenter of his original, one-man series of arts-in-education programs.
We highly recommend “Music: The Voice of Unity."
Feedback from Music Teacher at Sunquam Elementary School in Dix Hills, New York:
Dear Mr. Wasserman - I am writing this letter as a recommendation of your outstanding skills as a musician, educator, and communicator regarding your full week of work with all the students at our Elementary School as an artist in residence with your program “Music: The Voice of Unity”. The week turned out to be a fantastic experience for all parties involved. This would include the PTA, students, administration, and myself. I had the pleasure of working with you and assisting you when needed. Ultimately, the students benefited the most from interacting with you.
As a first class musician, you were extremely knowledgeable about all the instruments you brought to Sunquam. You were also terrific at performing on them. The students were very excited to play the myriad of instruments from around the world that you showcased. Your instrument collection is authentic and diverse.
As an educator you really knew how to communicate your knowledge to the children. Your management skills were first rate. The classes ran smoothly and all students were actively engaged. Every child performed on an instrument. The children were able to learn how to play various rhythm patterns from different cultures and perform them together with other rhythm patterns. This idea of layering requires the students to listen to each other. The idea of learning how to listen was an underlying goal of the whole week and so important in today’s society.
I also wanted to note that your presentation on instruments from the Middle East was terrific and relevant. This is one culture that students might not be familiar with. You were able to relate to the students how the instrumentation and music is similar throughout the region even though there is conflict there. I myself learned much from it.
As a communicator, you interacted wonderfully with all the students from kindergarten to fifth grade. Your explanations and questioning techniques were that of an experienced educator, making every student feel important. Your personality made the week fun for all, developed a nice rapport with all the students, and it was an experience that all of us here will never forget. I highly recommend you to any school needing a professional artist. I hope to work with you again in the future.
"You were magnificent today with our Middle School students and staff. No matter how many times I watch you in action, I'm moved by the non-stop student participation, your empathy and your ability to connect with your audience. Your preparation and follow-up Study Guides made it especially easy for our staff. We look forward to having you back again and again in the years to come. BRAVO !!!"
"You did a great job involving ALL our students this past year in our school district with your assembly concerts and workshops on technology and world cultures. They are very inspired when they hear you speak and see what practice and dedication to excellence can lead to. It is amazing to see how your interdisciplinary approach ties together such varied subjects and content into a coherent unity through music."
"Thank you again for a wonderful performance at our school. The children had a wonderful time and I got some great feedback from all the staff. I also wanted to let you know that our Enrichment teacher was so pleased with the Seminars that you did for the 2-5 grade students. Everyone had a great time and we will definitely invite you back next year. Receiving a CD that you recorded right here at our school of our student's jamming with you was a great touch. Thanks again for everything."
"Thanks for your endless generosity of spirit and supreme efforts in tailoring and connecting your content to reinforce our current High School curriculum. The teachers are thrilled that the resonance of your residency will keep our students engaged for the remainder of the year."
"I just wanted to let you all know how happy I am that we can continue to bring programs like yours into our school to enrich our students. When I hear all the feedback from our student's overwhelmingly positive reactions and our teachers' praise of your programs, it proves how much it is so worthwhile. The greatest testiment to the success of your work is that fact that students keep talking about you, even in the years following your visit to our school."
"Having Mr. Wasserman at our school was an experience that will stay with our students or the rest of their lives. Moreover, he has raised the expectations among students, parents and staff for all future next artist-in-residence project."
"Wasserman's performance, staff development workshops and grade-appropriate residencies are well-balanced in terms of the educational and entertainment components."
"You are pure magic. You have such a gift for communicating, especially, with little ones. If you worked full-time in a school for young children, that school would produce a crop of rare, peaceful, wise young graduates."
"What a fabulous and gentle man to work with our students. I hope that you will be able to return for more programs in the very near future."
"I would like to deeply thank the Educational Foundation for giving us this opportunity for the third year in a row to have a two-week artist-in-residence program entitled "MUSIC: The Voice of Unity" with Mr. Andy Wasserman. He is truly a gifted, talented musician and teacher. All our fourth grade teachers feel that our students are quite lucky to have him here. If possible, we would love to have him back next year in 2017 because his talents and his presentation fit wonderfully into our December curriculum. Thank you for all that you do!!"
Andy Wasserman's "Kindred Spirits" CD is immediately appealing and accessible...a jazz-buff sophistication./Beautiful sounding traditional drums on Wasserman's "Bead Songs" CD
Thanks from me and others who with whom I will share your blessings...your songs...your music on Bead Songs. I plan on sending a copy of this CD to a couple of very spiritual, wonderful, gracious folks who will fall in love with your music.
Today I was stuck in chaotic road construction back-ups, with people cutting in lanes and honking horns, yet I floated above it all, listening to the elegant music on Andy Wasserman's CD!
Thank you for sharing the beauty of your music on this CD with me.
The Native American flute playing on your Bead Songs is so beautiful. We love it!
Wasserman's music is fabulous and just incredible on this recording. It has such substance and depth.
I listened to your 3C trio's CD Over Tones many times last week. I am astonished at how supremely creative you are. I even discussed this with my music education colleagues who were equally as amazed.
What an utter joy to have humans like you on this planet with that kind of ability! Your CD "Bead Songs" is a daily listening staple during my evening rituals. Thank you for adding all this to my life.
Wasserman's piano playing is right on and sensitive, and the CD recording clear, forward, and very organically acoustic.
A heart-felt, soul-felt THANK YOU for the gift that is your spirit, Andy. Thank you for your shimmering talents and altruism, and most of all for being an artistic example of such soul beauty in a sometimes dark and ugly world. God bless you.
This Over Tones CD is some of the most alive, exuberant music I’ve ever heard.
Andy Wasserman's incredible knowledge of music, fantastic dynamic range, wide scope, sensitivity, creativity, and technical prowess is evident in his performances and recordings.
Andy Wasserman's unique artistic expression is a perfect balance of precision and passion, classic and innovative styles.
You were magnificent today, Andy...no matter how many times I watch you perform a concert, I'm moved by your empathy and your ability to connect with your audience. BRAVO !!!
You did a great job with our students this past year. They are very inspired when they hear you speak and see what practice can lead to.
Thank you again for a wonderful performance. The children had a wonderful time and I got some great feedback from all the staff. I also wanted to let you know that our
Enrichment teacher was so pleased with the Seminars that you did for the 2-5 grade students. Everyone had a great time. Thanks again for everything.
Wasserman's music exhibits an endless generosity of spirit.
I just wanted to let you all know how happy I am that we can continue to bring programs like yours into our school to enrich our students. When I hear all the feedback from our student's overwhelmingly positive reactions and our teachers' praise of your programs, it proves how much it is so worthwhile.
Having Mr. Wasserman at our school was an experience that will stay with our students or the rest of their lives. Moreover, he has raised the expectations among students, parents and staff for our next artist-in-residence project.
Wasserman's performance is well balanced in terms of the educational and entertainment components.
You are pure magic. You have such a gift for communicating, especially, with little ones. If you worked full-time in a school for young children, that school would produce a crop of rare, peaceful, wise young graduates.
What a fabulous and gentle man to work with our students. I hope that you will be able to return for more programs in the very near future.
Thanks so very much for spreading your light and sharing your passion with us in your holistic music healing workshop. We are better for it, for sure, and I am inspired by all of it - what you have accomplished and continue to do are amazing!
There is no doubt that you, Andy, made our arts-in-ed program for special needs audiences the enormous success that it was. You set the tone with your open acceptance of the children, your pure, infectious joy, your musical talents, your group management skills, and your unique ability to embrace each moment. You empowered each of us to tap the best that is within us.