We first met Illya when we attended our friends’ daughter recital. When we heard her play and listened to other boys and girls we knew we wanted the same teacher for our daughter. Now 1.5 years later, we cannot be happier with her progress. When we listen to her first pieces and compare them to where she is now – it’s clear to see she’s travelled a long distance to the point where she is preparing for her first competition! She’s 7 years old, so play is still an essential motivation in all she does. Illya’s funny and engaging book “Toogo’s Adventures” was a great introduction for her to story telling wrapped in beautiful music. It was a key that turned tunes to stories and opened her eyes to see music as a way of “speaking”. She is at a point where mistake-free rendition is still a big target but she also starts seeing how soft and loud tones express stories too fine for words. Last but not least, Illya knows how to motivate little children and he rewards their work with special gifts that keep them excited about coming to classes!

Johann Wolf, March, 2019

My daughter has been taking violin lessons from Katha for the past year, and we can’t say enough about Katha’s instruction. She is an excellent teacher and such a kind person. We look forward to the lessons each week (I sit in, too), and I credit Katha for my daughter’s progression obviously, and continued enthusiasm! Although my daughter is taking so many other activities which she also loves, it is these violin lessons with Katha that I find to be especially rewarding.

Amalia Gonzalez-Dahl, February, 2019

Both my daughers have taken music lessons (1 in violin and 1 piano) with Katha for several years. I cannot recommend her enough. Katha is a wonderful, supportive and disiplined teacher who goes above and beyond. Not only has she fostered a love of music for my girls, she has created a music foundation that will be with them always. We all adore Katha!

Jessica Grunfeld, January, 2019

My 6-year-old has been learning piano with Illya for over a year now, both my husband and I are very happy with the outcome! We cannot recommend him enough! My son is very easy to distracted, but Illya has such great techniques to redirect him back, Illya is been very patient with him. He is a very experienced piano teacher, knows how to teach music and how to deal with young kids. My son learned a lot over the past year, from being very shy perform in front of others to enjoys doing it at recital. Now he likes play piano, and often ask to play for others. We feel so fortunate to find Illya, and have him teach our son piano. We will definitely send our younger one to Illya once he turned 5 too.

Dong Vincent, December, 2018

My daughter (11 years old) has been studying piano with Illya for just over a year now. As a former conservatory student myself, I can say that I could not be happier with all of the aspects that Illya brings as a teacher. Most importantly, he makes learning piano fun by selecting repertoire that my daughter enjoys playing. If there is a piece that she does not connect with, he will play her some alternate pieces to see which ones she likes. Each piece usually emphasizes an aspect of technique, so the result is not lots of drills and exercises, rather it’s a song-as-exercise. Illya understands that engaging children requires good communication, understanding, humor and discipline. I would, and do recommend, Illya and Katha to any and all friends who are considering music lessons for their children. He is truly a caring teacher and a kind and considerate individual whom I enjoy speaking with when the lesson is over.

James Propp, November 2015

Katha is simply outstanding. Not only is she an extremely talented and educated violinist, but an amazing teacher. Her approach to our hyper-excited 8 year old son is calm and patient, but she gets her point across when focus needs to be called. We admire Katha and Illya! It is also really important that we have been able to go see them perform. Super inspiring!

Maribel Araujo, Jan. 22, 2015

Illya teaches my son and daughter piano once a week. He is wonderful with both of them, particularly my son who has autism. He uses the comic[music] book he wrote while teaching and completely engages the kids. I was worried my son wouldn’t be able to sit for an hour lesson, but he begs to continue with his lesson and doesn’t want to give his sister her turn with Illya. While my son was having a lesson we heard some amazing music. I went to see who was playing and it was Illya and my son! He makes the lessons fun so my kids want to practice what he has taught them. I highly recommend Illya as a piano teacher!

Karin Patterson, May 24, 2014

Illya is a fantastic piano teacher. I am 29, and I was a self taught piano player. I learned a few pieces, but wanted to take my playing to the next level. Illya has helped immensely. My progress has skyrocketed with his help.

Henry Bell, April 23, 2015

I HIGHLY recommend Katha. I leave inspired every week even when I do not feel like I did my best work. Because I appreciate her presence and support in my life, she makes me motivated to keep working hard without ever having to ask me to do so. I am in love with music once again. I can say with complete confidence that over the past months, my life has changed dramatically. I even went back to orchestra as a result!

Darryl Smith, Oct. 3, 2014