Faculty Friday with Aleksandra Labinska
Time for another Faculty Friday! For first time readers, our Faculty Friday blog is a series of questions and responses meant to feature instructors from Luzerne Music Center in a unique light. Focusing not only on their professional career, we ask faculty questions that give students and readers a glimpse into their daily lives.
Returning for her second summer at LMC, Aleksandra Labinska performs with both the Albany Symphony Orchestra and the Vermont Symphony, in addition to other Boston-based ensembles. As a teacher, Aleksandra currently serves on the Rensselaer Institute Department of Arts and Humanities and has previously served on faculty at the South Shore Conservatory and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute violin workshop. Over the years, Aleksandra has had students win competitions such as the Roman Totenberg String Competition, the Russian Music Competition, and has had students perform in festivals and ensembles nationwide.
Tell us a little bit about your history with LMC: how did you get connected and how many summers have you been on faculty?
I heard about the LMC summer program from a dear friend, Madeleine Jansen who has been on faculty for a good while. She introduced me to the camp and welcomed me to the LMC family. Last year, I taught my first Junior and Senior session and it has been a true privilege to work with such a great talent pool. The faculty collaboration, student performances and a beautiful nature setting has been fantastic, and I can't wait to the come back this summer!
What can campers expect to learn while working with you this summer?
I offer a highly customized approach to every student. I base my teaching on a good technical foundation and development of deep understanding of musical language. I try to offer a holistic and thorough instruction on posture, stage presence and detail oriented practice. My main goal is to offer a new perspective and inspire all LMC students to achieve their artistic potential. I encourage an open mind, strive for excellence, and teach goal setting strategies. I hope that all my students leave the camp feeling enriched, inspired, and take all this new knowledge into their communities.
I know that you have a guinea pig. Tell us a bit about her!
My guinea pig, Naomi, is 2 years old. She is a constant source of entertainment and joy for my family. She enjoys her floor time exploration biting on cables, furniture, and important documents! Naomi has developed a particular interest in blueberries and hopping from one corner of the coach to another. She has a very free spirit and always plans for an escape route if the situation turns perilous! This usually consists of bath time, nail spa time, and general grooming. Naomi produces all kinds of squeaks which signals whether she is content, curious, hungry, scared, or simply lazy. It's been so great having her around!
What was one of your favorite musical memories growing up?
I grew up in a musical family with both parents being professional musicians. I vividly remember practicing violin with my mom who has been incredibly supportive in my musical explorations. Our early practice sessions would consist of her reading the violin method book and experimenting on my young rebellious mind. She was my accompanist and support teacher in the early stages of learning the instrument. I hold our practice sessions dearly in my memory.
What’s your favorite part about working at LMC?
I absolutely love how close and passionate the LMC faculty and staff is. I have taught in variety of settings throughout my career and this has been my absolute favorite. We all share the stage together during weekly concerts, discuss educational challenges over meals, and stay closely connected to the students. The way the program is laid out feels ideal for the musical growth of students and I'm very proud to be part of the team!
Finally, if you could be a superhero, who would it be and why?
It's hard to pick one with so much variety out there. I think I like Catwoman for her flexibility the most.