John has an abiding interest in the power of great music in our lives. He is an inspired teacher who can integrate his subtle awareness of the mechanics of pianism to bring a student’s expressive abilities to artistic heights. John triggers imagination, relaxation and color.
I continue to be impressed by his enthusiasm for the hard work and complexities of leadership. John’s engagement with students and their families, and his adroit management of faculty while serving as director of Preparatory and Extension Divisions at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music was the work of an extraordinary administrator. He is an outstanding model of fairness, integrity and artistic achievement.
I have had the honor of working with two of John McCarthy’s students at the University of Pennsylvania and at the Curtis Summerfest’s Young Artists’ Summer Program. Mr. McCarthy’s legendary pedagogy is embodied in their passion for music, insights into the score and into piano playing, and deep intellectual curiosity about music. It was such a privilege to witness the confluence of artistic merits passed on by Mr. McCarthy to the next generation.
John McCarthy formed my technique and my musical values. Realistic goals and long range plans for the future were set from the beginning. I am grateful to have such a compassionate, profound guide in my life. Studying with John led me to realize how much I love music and that I want to have a career as a performing pianist. He is the most influential teacher I have had during my many years of music study.
Over the years, From the Top has presented a number of John McCarthy’s students, all of whom have exhibited the very best in classical training and the highest performance standards. We look forward to hearing many more in the future.
John has taught me what it means to be fully dedicated to an art. He is an invaluable guide-musically, intellectually and personally. John patiently and profoundly educates, and my entire experience of music continues to be informed by him. He is a true educator.
Anyone who knows John would acknowledge his integrity, generosity, and modesty. I have had the pleasure of watching my daughter grow as a musician and witnessed how eagerly she anticipated each piano lesson. I could tell that something unique happened every time, which moved her to explore more, and deepened her love for music.
Observing John teach was one of the highlights of my week, a time during which I could experience a master at his craft. His teaching is deeply informed by his intellect, and by his heart and intuition.
John McCarthy has been not only my teacher but also a mentor in all areas of my life. He has taught me to trust myself as a pianist, and thanks to him, I envision a future in which I wake up every morning to the sound of music.
Music study has become a deeper and more vibrant experience for me because of my work with John McCarthy. Incredibly perceptive and thoughtful, he has a positive influence on everyone around him.
John McCarthy is demanding yet soft spoken in his teaching. He appreciates and cultivates what is special within each of his students. Thanks to John, our daughter was very well prepared for her auditions at major music schools. Many of his students commute from faraway distances with the certainty that this particular journey is well worth it!
John has the unique ability to point out a single moment in a piece that changes one’s artistic perception of the entire composition. His guidance has helped me immensely to mature as both a person and a musician, and to have a genuinely authentic vision.