January 1, 2017

A Life with Music

The piano has been a central part of my life for as long as I can remember. In my childhood universe, it was the miraculous, incredibly fascinating, intimidating and magnetic object that most of my earliest and clearest memories revolve around. The first time I watched and heard someone play (at a dinner party) was soon followed by my first lesson. At the beginning, I was left alone with the instrument for a few minutes, while my mom and new teacher went to the office to enroll me in the music school. I so vividly remember that initial encounter, the cool feel of the keys when I first touched them, the way the light shined on the piano on that beautiful and bright late summer day, and the sense of wonder at producing my very first sounds on the instrument, as I shyly explored the keyboard.

When I think back on my life journey so far, the piano is always there, a faithful and indispensable companion. Learning how to play it has helped me grasp important life skills such as discipline, time management, analytical thinking and self criticism, problem solving, performing under pressure, the ability to conquer a long term goal, as well as celebrating and taking pride in my achievements. But even more importantly, it gave me a visceral connection to music, a voice, and a way to express and explore my inner being throughout my life, while at the same time connecting to others – the voices of composers, teachers, and fellow musicians.

This powerful experience I owe to my parents and teachers, as I have been so fortunate to grow in a nurturing and loving environment, always blessed with their encouragement, support, and guidance (and reality checks when I needed them!). I am so elated to now be able to share this gift with my students. One of the amazing things about being a musician, is that you never stop learning, growing, developing. Every encounter and collaboration with another musical being changes and enriches you. This is why I enjoy my work tremendously, and have always been excited to take on students of any age or level.

My relationship to my students is of utmost importance to me, and I strive to cultivate lasting connections based on warmth, mutual respect, and trust, while maintaining absolute honesty regarding expectations. In my teaching, regardless of whether I am working with someone who is 4 or 74, a beginner or a very advanced student, my primary goals are to nurture their passion for music, and to help them build and constantly refine the tools needed to experience music making in a most meaningful way. I believe that assigning inspiring and varied repertoire is crucial in the beginning years of study, and a well rounded musical education is highly dependent on developing a strong sense of rhythm and musical timing, building a solid technique, becoming highly proficient in note reading and music theory, gradually accumulating knowledge of music history and various musical styles. Musical progress is internalized and celebrated through various performing opportunities throughout the year, such as studio parties, recitals, and competitions.