Teacher Feature: Rok Palcic

Rok Palcic joined Blue Feather Music in November of 2017. He now teaches 6 advanced piano students through Blue Feather and is currently obtaining his DMA at the University of Maryland, College Park. He can be heard performing this summer in Europe on the 27th and 28th of July at Masterclasses Haliaeti, and will be performing a recital on November 28 at 5 pm at the University of Maryland in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, in Gildenhorn Hall.

Rok brings a high level of expertise to our team of piano instructors, and is currently overseeing intermediate to advanced students in our Blue Feather family. He believes that raw talent is a gift and is truly passionate about discovering and cultivating that gift wherever he finds it. While he confesses that it is rare to come across the true gift of talent, and compares it to combing through an ocean to find hidden diamonds, this does not stop him from searching. As he searches, he challenges every student to bring discipline, respect for music and it's composers, and true devotion to their craft.

Rok grew up in Slovenia, where his first inspiration came as he watched his older brother play piano. "I was jealous," he admitted with a laugh. That was apparently all it took to start Rok on his quest for a world class musical education that would take him to universities in Germany, Austria, and then the United States. After completing a second masters degree at the University of Florida, he moved to the DC metro area to obtain his doctoral degree, in which he is studying the works of Mel Bonis, in order to present all of her compositions in a recital as his final dissertation. Mel Bonis, he explained, was a woman of the early 20th century, named Melanie at birth, who composed under a gender neutral pseudonym, in order to promote her compositions as a female in a male dominated field. He believes she was an incredible composer, and looks forward to resurrecting her largely forgotten body of work. 

When Rok is not studying the music of Mel Bonis, he can be found listening to quite a wide variety of composers. When asked about his favorites, he shared that he has a "group of go-to's", among whom are Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Schubert, Chopin, Prokovief, and Shostokovich. He finds that the greatest obstacle in teaching is keeping students motivated, and this, he believes, comes from exposing them to great music. Though the best way for them to absorb a passion for listening is through the influence of parents at home, he says, he does his best to point them in the right direction with listening assignments. Additionally, Rok encourages each student to understand why they are practicing. If you don't understand your goal when you approach your instrument, which should  always be to solve a problem, then your time would be better spent "playing video games."

In conclusion, we are proud to have Rok on our team, and we hope you will have a chance to hear him play at one of our upcoming recitals, at the University of Maryland in College Park, or should you happen to be traveling to Europe this summer, at the Master Classes Haliaeti! A fun fact: Rok briefly experimented with  the clarinet. This adventure, he tells us, lasted just a year and convinced him his future was definitely with the piano.