Loreta Kovacic, teacher/director/performer
Dr. Loreta Kovacic, who is fondly referred to as the “Alchemist”, is an accomplished musician, teacher, author and children’s theater director. Her spirit is what makes her a true alchemist in that she has the uncanny ability to transform the seemingly normal into true gold. This ability is reflected in the children she works with, inspiring a new level of confidence through music and performance!
Loreta holds a Doctorate in piano performance from Rice University, but is widely known for her performances from small local stages to Carnegie Hall. Her critically acclaimed work, Brother Tadpole, garnered her a Grammy nomination. When she’s not performing she plays, composes, teaches, directs and creates original children’s musicals at her piano studio in the Houston Heights.
Loreta uses a variety of teaching methods in all of her music and musical theatre classes, one of which is the well known Kodaly method.
*Understanding music through singing is key.
*The voice is the most natural instrument, one which every person possesses.
*Singing best develops the inner, musical ear.
As a singer and a concert pianist, I do believe that learning to sing, especially at an early age, does help develop a greater understanding of musical concepts. I encourage all my students to sing and to listen to great artist performances. Students can learn their instrumental pieces on a deeper level, if they can sing one hand while playing the other hand on the piano. Furthermore, many of my students compose and perform pieces on piano while singing at the same time, in singer-songwriter style.
For my singers, I teach solfege to help with sight-reading, and I use the Kodály hand signals to visualize the tonal relationships between the notes. This is how I learned music in lower school in Croatia and I believe it is still a great method.
In her native former Yugoslavia, Loreta was known as her country’s first female electronic keyboard player as well as a classical pianist. Her songs have been played on Croatian radio and TV, Houston’s radio KUHF and KPFT and the International Space Station. Along with her theatre work Loreta enjoys performing music for the silent films of Charlie Chaplin and Georges Melies at venues like Discovery Green and MFAH. She often performs with APT band and APT children singers and actors; especially with theremin player and husband, Joe Parani, also known as “Brother Tadpole”. Joe acts in every APT show, adding a dimension of comedy, improv and all around great time in theatre!!! He is a space flight trainer at NASA, but at APT, he creates magic with children on stage!
“Known for her virtuoso performances from Boom Boom room to Carnegie Hall, she is also recognized as an author of imaginative children’s music. Her style is inspired by music from around the world, a unique, international mixture of influences. This self proclaimed “Texas Slav” calls her own style “Slavic & Western”. She moves from classical to pop and jazz genres as fluidly as her fingers dance around the ivories”Houston Press
“Her show has a distinctive cabaret feel to it, with all the notes filtered through her larger-then-life personality.” Culturemap, Houston, 2010
Loreta’s first two albums were classical piano masterpieces
- Loreta Kovacic, Pianist (music of Prokofiev, Beethoven, etc)
(all also available directly from Loreta)
- Piano Notturno (music of Brahms, Livadic, Liszt, Chopin, etc https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/piano-notturno/id557154630
Her latest albums are original children’s songs and world music:
** BROTHER TADPOLE classics (available on Itunes and Amazon)
** SPACE WIGGS (on iTunes)
**SLAVIC AND WESTERN, original world music, inspired by folk music from Eastern Europe.