Sally Thomas

May 17, 2004 at 10:28 PM · Has anyone been taught by Ms. Thomas, or played for her? And what does she look for in your playing?

She teaches at Juilliard.

Replies (5)

May 13, 2004 at 02:29 AM · If you mean what she looks for in prospective students, then it would probably be just potential to someday play very well. I know I wasn't that great when I first played for Ms. Thomas, but I guess she must have seen some sort of potential in me to accept me as a student. Since then, I have learned more from her about violin playing than any other teacher I've ever had.

May 13, 2004 at 08:37 AM · After hearing her chide a pupil about slightly tapping her foot during a jury, I was amused to watch Sally exhibit the same habit in spades during her lengthy recital one week later. She is well thought of in the biz, I hasten to add.She is another in the string of pretty former assts. to Galamian.

May 14, 2004 at 07:12 PM · When I was at Juilliard in 1995-97, I found that the teachers were very divided; one group were disciples of DeLay (Tanaka, Kawasaki, Kang, Milewski, etc), the other group were Galamian disciples (Sally Thomas, Lewis Kaplan, etc). Although DeLay is technically from the Galamian school, they "broke up" in the 70s, causing a chain of events that exists until now. It was pretty obvious that Sally THomas and Kaplan hated DeLay and all her associates. Now that DeLay is gone, I hope all can live peacefully. Even Robert Mann who comes from neither camp, made some off-handed remark about DeLay's 'clones'.

May 16, 2004 at 04:33 AM · Excellent teacher. Absolutely uncompromising in terms of intonation and a properly set up bow arm. Her students consistently play well and have very individual styles of playing. She teaches in a way that develops that. Her students are not the typical "Juilliard Factory" students. To many students outside of her studio (or in the "Delay" discipleship) this is viewed as something that makes her studio "weak". In my opinion, it's the exact oposite. The students in her studio know how to play music. Buy a recording of James Ehnes (I would recommend his recording of the Bruch Scottish Fantasy) and you will hear the results of her methods of teaching (albeit enhanced my James' heaps of talent).


May 19, 2004 at 03:33 PM · I think that Gregory Lee's posting was a bit oversimplified. Although for many years I was close to Dorothy DeLay, there certainly were feelings that were not the most cordial for a number of years as well. Although I taught at Juilliard in association with Galamian, the last 5 years of his life (1976-81), I would not characterize myself as a disciple. There was much that I loved and respected about him personally as well as his teaching. There were other things (musical matters, the approach to students) that were certainly of my own devising. The story does have a happy ending. The violin faculty at Juilliard I would honestly now describe as a very happy and supportive group.

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