In the Fall of 1989 via a random phone call to the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, I frantically tried to find a place to practice. I had just arrived in L.A. and needed to hit the ground running. I found the number from the phone book looking for anything to do with music in search of a place to practice and found PCM.
Silke Sauppe - the founder - picked up the phone. At the time it was her and another lady who simply had put together their studios to create a music school in a European model. We started talking; she detected my accent. As a fellow German, she quickly engaged in conversation and I started not only practicing piano at PCM, but also working there right away. I remember many late night practice sessions and being the last person to leave—locking up the building.
I supported myself through college and during my time in Los Angeles through my work at PCM. Almost every year since, I have returned to the wonderful culture found in this conservatory and visited many great friends in the L.A. area—some former colleagues and students. I am grateful to have maintained some of the most meaningful relationships from that previous era.
The school has since moved several times over the decades until they found their current home that is quite amazing. They are a staple of the Southern California music scene. PCM is now an accredited institution for more than 1200 pre-college music students and adult learners.
I will teach a master class at PCM on Saturday March 5, 2016. If you are in the area, stop by and say hello!