Born in Smithtown, New York, and raised in New Jersey, David Leifer earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano (2006) and a Master of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance (2008) from Westminster Choir College of Rider University, where he studied with Professor Lillian Livingston and Professor Ingrid Clarfield. While at Westminster, he won the 2004 annual Westminster Piano Awards competition, and had the honor of performing in the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in 2007. David completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance in 2011 from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, where he studied piano and pedagogy with Dr. John Ellis. His dissertation work culminated in a lecture recital on ragtime piano music, a solo recital of works by Beethoven and Schumann, and a research paper on performance anxiety and the developing pianist.
While a graduate student at Westminster Choir College, he completed a piano pedagogy internship with Phyllis Lehrer teaching “Piano Lessons Plus,” a group class for children that incorporated creative listening, singing, technique and movement activities. Following this, he completed a second internship with Ingrid Clarfield, working closely with two of her talented students in private lessons. Dr. Leifer’s teaching experience at the University of Michigan includes an appointment as a Graduate Student Instructor, where he taught college class piano, private college students and students in the Piano Pedagogy Laboratory program, the school’s comprehensive pre-college program for children of varying ages and levels.
Dr. Leifer is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music by the Music Teachers National Association. Recently, he joined the faculty of Westminster College of the Arts, where he teaches various sections of piano secondary. He is also a member of the piano faculty at Hunterdon Academy of the Arts in Flemington, New Jersey. He joined the faculty of the Westminster Conservatory of Music in September 2011.