Bernard Zinck

Teaching

With over 25 years of teaching experience, Bernard Zinck continues to be a dedicated violin and chamber music pedagogue. He currently holds the positions of Associate Professor of Violin and Director of the Sorkin Chamber Music Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His commitment to chamber music has led him to create the Lakeside Chamber Music Workshop, a summer program that offers participants chamber music coaching, master classes and presents concerts. His students have been admitted into music programs at the Paris Superior Conservatory of Music, the New England, Oberlin and San Francisco conservatories and the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Many have won competitions, positions in orchestras and universities, or have started string programs in their own communities.

As the product of both conservatory and university training, Bernard Zinck firmly believes in a well-rounded musical and academic education. In his teaching, he stresses the importance of acquiring the broadest possible knowledge – a knowledge focused not only on the instrument but also on physiology, music history and analysis, aesthetics, art and history. Equipped with a rich contextual background, his students are encouraged to seek mind and body connections, leading them to develop a natural and stress-free technique. Awareness of how the body works is an essential component of his teaching, as every aspect of violin technique requires a set of precise and well-coordinated physical actions. Once students develop and incorporate this awareness, they are able to concentrate on the musical aspect of their training. In this regard, he encourages his students to study scores, recordings, and write research papers in order to learn about each composer's musical style.

A performer himself, Bernard Zinck seeks to offer many performance opportunities to his university students. Performing in weekly master classes, class recitals on and off campus, chamber music concerts, or collaborative performances with dancers or other artists, they hone their skills and learn to become confident and at ease on stage.

2010 Music Camp at Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Port au Prince, Haiti

The Music Camp at Holy Trinity and the Orchestre Philharmonique Sainte-Trinité were founded some 39 years ago. Every summer, volunteers from around the world come to Haiti and teach music for three weeks to local teachers and students, in private, group, sectional and orchestra settings. The program includes choirs, band, wind ensemble, chamber orchestra and symphony orchestra. This summer, due to the extraordinarily dire conditions in Haiti, the program consisted of a two-week day camp held among the ruins of the cathedral in downtown Port au Prince.

For two weeks in late July, volunteers taught instrumental lessons to local teachers and delivered pedagogical lectures at Saint John’s Church in Pétionville. In the afternoon, we conducted sectionals, rehearsals and chamber music coaching for members of the orchestra. On July 25th, all the ensembles performed in a four-hour long concert conducted by local teachers and guest conductors/volunteers.

In addition to musicians, the roster of volunteers included a bow maker from Atlanta and a luthier from England who came to repair instruments and offer classes to local musicians in instrument upkeep and repair. After the earthquake, many instruments stored at the cathedral were destroyed. The organ once in the sanctuary is now a pile of twisted pipes stored in a nearby shack. Almost all string instruments were broken beyond repair, and few students have the financial resources to purchase new instruments. Before traveling to Haiti, not wanting to take my 1690 Rogeri violin, I purchased an early 1900’s German violin and bow that I used to teach and play on, and then donated to the program.

The trip to Haiti proved to be wonderful, difficult, enriching and inspiring. Speaking French allowed me to have an instant connection to locals and get a quicker insight into Haitian culture, literature and art. Speaking French also allowed me to reach out, teach and share stories with students in more subtle and personal ways. Teaching in such a setting is a lesson in resilience, ingenuity and humility. Despite the inadequacy of both housing and facilities - no studios, practice rooms or concert hall - we all managed to find places to teach, share musical knowledge and prepare students for their final concert. Every single room, corner, closet, stairwell and hallway were used in both uptown and downtown locations, insuring that all students got their daily lessons, and time and space to practice. At times this created some surprising acoustical juxtapositions, but everything got smoothed out with good will and a sense of humor. These are not the teaching conditions found in most American universities, and anyone who has experienced the camp feels renewed appreciation for the comfort and luxury of having a private studio with a grand piano, a lavish concert hall, well-equipped practice rooms and a well-stocked music library.

Despite the conditions, students did improve in such a short amount of time, and I am looking forward returning to Haiti throughout the year to play with the orchestra and to teach for a few weeks next summer.

Anyone who wants to support Holy Trinity music program can choose to do so through various organizations:

- My colleague, Janet Antony from Laurence Conservatory of Music in Appleton, has set up a fund through the Community Foundation of Fox Valley: http://www.cffoxvalley.org. - Stephen Davenport, U.S. representant of Holly Trinity, is in charge of collecting funds specifically for the program in Haiti. The web site can be found at http://www.stpetersdelmar.net/node/228.

Additional info can be found also at:

Friends of Holy Trinity Music School in Haiti
St. John’s Episcopal Church
3738 Butler Road
Glyndon, Maryland 21071
Tel: (410) 833-5300
Emails:
Stephen Davenport at odeaint@aol.com
Tracy Bruce at tracy.bruce@stjohnsglyndon.org

- Jeanne Pocius is the president of a foundation that collects instruments for Haiti music programs:

Instrumental Change, Inc. 301 Newbury Street
Suite S-142, Danvers
MA 01923
Tel. number is (978) 317-4731.
The foundation website is http://csohaiti.org/content/instrumental-change-inc.

- Gifts can be sent directly to Holy Trinity in Port au Prince. The director of the program is Père David César.

Ecole de Musique Ste Trinité
2 Angle Rue Lamarre et Moise, PétionVille
Port au Prince, Haiti

Bernard Zinck, Violinist
www.bernardzinck.com
Associate Professor of Violin and Director of the Leoanrd Sorkin Chamber Music at UW-Milwaukee
Artistic Director of Lakeside Chamber Music Workshop - lakesidechambermusic.org
bezinck@gmail.com