Teaching & Research

Danny always strives to find a healthy balance between performance, scholarship, and teaching. His research interests have not always been directly related to his performing career, however. His undergraduate thesis at Hampshire College was entitled Country Music and the Music Industry in Nashville, Tennessee: The Confused Identity of a Genre in a Culture of Commerce. His Masters thesis at Smith College, Making Country Music “Country”: Technology, Authenticity, and Nashville Sounds continued this research.

Other research interests include: the development of western tuning systems; power dynamics in cross-cultural musical exchanges between East and West; the relationship between performance context and cultural conceptions of music; the distinctions between “the work” “the score” and “the performance” in western classical art music and the development of the virtuoso performance tradition in 19th century Europe; performance practice in minimalist music; the Alexander Technique, T’ai Chi, quantum physics, and neuroscience as they relate to mindful, efficient, healthy practicing for musicians; Michael Jackson; Devo; Kraftwerk; and the life and work of innovative composer/pianist Mike Garson.

In addition to maintaining a large studio of piano students in Los Angeles, Danny is currently on the faculty of The Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts, where he has also taught in the School of Theater.  He also teaches innovative music classes at The Oakwood School and The Academy of Creative Education, where he is the chair of the music program. He was formerly Senior Musician in the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures, and he has also taught at California Music Academy, The Conservatory of the Arts at The Center (Pasadena), and the Hollywood Pop Academy.

Danny was formerly a graduate teaching assistant and tutor in music theory at California Institute of the Arts.  And as a Teaching Fellow in the Smith College music department, he directed the aural skills program and founded the Smith College Rhythm Ensemble, an innovative class that employed an interdisciplinary approach to studying rhythm. Studying and performing music from sources as diverse as Balinese kecak, Steve Reich, and Stomp, the Rhythm Ensemble encouraged students to nurture a more highly developed and internalized sense of rhythm.