MM, The Hartt School, University of Hartford
BMed, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Gregory Babal is a member of the piano faculty at The Hartt School, University of Hartford, where he is the coordinator of the Piano-Keyboard area. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in both piano and violin. He later received a Master of Music degree in piano performance from The Hartt School, University of Hartford. His piano studies were with James Staples and Raymond Hansen. He is also a composer and arranger.
Mr. Babal has performed and given clinics in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, as well as in Poland and the Slovak Republic. He has also held adjunct faculty positions at Central Connecticut State University and St. Joseph College, and worked with the Creative Communities program of the Artist Collective of Hartford and the ARC and Project LEARN programs for the state of Connecticut.
Mr. Babal also teaches piano at the Hartt School Community Division where he works with creatively talented students developing classical piano, improvisation, jazz and composition skills.
His vision at The Hartt School has been to excite students to a passion for music and to inspire a practical application of the piano in their individual disciplines, whether in classical performance, music education, jazz or Music Theater. This has been accomplished through the development of a major-specific curriculum, as well as the organization of yearly piano monster concert performances. He is also active in organizing collaborative choral performances with university music theater students and community seniors’ choral groups.
In my studio one of the highest priorities is to motivate the individual student with music that they are naturally drawn to. Growth and skill development on the piano will be directly related to how excited a student is to be able to do what I demonstrate. There is a core curriculum of rudiments and skills that are necessary to learn for success at the instrument and those cannot be neglected. But a successful teacher recognizes that those skills can be taught through ta variety of music literature. I believe in mentoring each individual so that they reach the highest standards of their potential in their unique gifting, and this is accomplished in my studio through teaching a variety of musical styles, including classical, jazz and improvisation.
My greatest joy is to have a parent tell me how their child was so excited when they came home from the lesson. Music is a discipline, but it should be an enjoyable one!
I have had the additional satisfaction of teaching the inaugural class of the Hartt Preparatory Academy, and investing in the next generation of college musicians.