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Miss Amy Fay on the Deppe Method

One of your subscribers does me the honor to ask for information in regard to my edition of the “Deppe Method.” Also, who Deppe is, where born, and if still alive and teaching. I have forgotten where Deppe was born, but he was a well-known musical conductor and teacher of the piano in Berlin, and, indeed, throughout Germany, at the time I made his acquaintance in 1873. He subsequently became the conductor of the Royal Opera in Berlin, and was the teacher of the present Empress of Germany and of Count Hochberg, the present intendant of the opera in Berlin. Count Hoch­berg was devoted to Deppe, and after his death, which occurred two years ago last October at Pyrmont, while on his summer vacation, endeavored to collect his pupils who were teaching in Berlin and to found a Deppe School of Piano Playing, through which Deppe’s principles should be transmitted and perpetuated. I do not know how Count Hochberg is succeeding with this school, but it was in existence when I was abroad a year and a half ago. I was in Berlin only six days, and did not see Count Hochberg, which I have much regretted since. From there I went to Hamburg to visit Frl. Elise Timm, who was Deppe’s friend and associate teacher for years, and who has a flourishing piano school founded on Deppe’s ideas. She has always been his devoted adherent, and is the best teacher of his method in Germany. Her address is 35 Kirchen Allée, Hamburg. I went to Hamburg for one winter in 1875, in order to study with Frl. Timm, and learned from her points of technique which have been of the utmost value to me both in playing and in teaching ever since. She had the patience to study with her pupils, and many an evening have we spent hours practicing technic together.

The Deppe method is a religion with Frl. Timm, and she is still teaching it as vigorously as ever. Americans going abroad to study would do well to go to her first for hand training and for the foundation of their musical course. She understands how to give that invaluable elementary instruction which everybody needs, and which so few teachers know how to impart. My own manner of teaching is based on the same lines, and I always begin with the Deppe exercises, which are edited by me and are published by S. W. Straub, 245 State Street, Chicago. Anybody can get them by ordering from him or at Mr. Presser’s house. I have prefaced each exercise with a note describing how it should be studied, but can make it perfectly clear only by illustra­tion on the piano. In a course of five lessons, of one hour each, I can teach the leading features of the Deppe method, and have done so to teachers all over the West, who used to come to me for a month during their sum­mer vacations when I lived in Chicago.

As a perfect specimen of the Deppe method, I can furnish my little twelve-year-old pupil, Laura Sanford, who plays with the finish of an artist now, and who is meeting with phenomenal success in public. She has been developed wholly on the Deppe method, and will, perhaps, appear at one of the concerts of the World’s Fair this summer. It is my hope ultimately to take her to Berlin and to have her play under the protection of the Empress of Germany and of Count Hochberg, as the American exponent of the Deppe School. A teacher, like a merchant, should be able to furnish “a sample of his goods.” Yours, respectfully,

Amy Fay.

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