By Katherine Carroll
The Little Rebellion sat down with piano professor Alex Peh, one of the assistant faculty in the music program at SUNY New Paltz. Peh spoke proudly of the program, citing its combination of personal lessons as well as music history and theory classes as its crowning achievements.
Peh, a Malyasian immigrant, was interested in piano since age 5. He pursued the art through high school and in college at Northwestern University, before pursuing teaching piano at a secondary school in Washington, D.C. Peh is able to “mentor” each one of his students, as there are only 10 applied music majors at New Paltz.
Music study goes far deeper than reading notes on a page. Music students at New Paltz immerse themselves in studies of the culture and history of the music they play.
“When you play a piece by Beethoven dedicated to Napoleon, it brings up a lot of relevant historical understanding,” Peh said.
As an experienced concert pianist, Peh tries to inspire his students to not only pursue playing, but sticking with music throughout their lives. No matter what career path they choose, they will always be musicians.