Studio

Upright piano

Why join our studio?

While teaching in NYC, we were able to provide high quality in-person instruction, along with three recitals a year and access to music festivals and competitions, such as NYSSMA, the New York Young Virtuoso Competition, and many others.  Several of our students have given solo performances in Carnegie Hall, and compete on a regular basis.  

Our students range in age from 5 all the way up to 90!  If a student has a will to learn, we are more than happy to teach them.  Our methods vary, as each student is different, but can include the Suzuki Method books, the Russian School, the German School, and method books of our own creation.  

Our studio is conveniently located in Downtown Brooklyn. We are more than certain that it will be a pleasant and positive experience for you or your child to learn here. Most of our lessons take place on the piano pictured above. However, before concerts and competitions we will have a lesson on the wonderful grand piano in the other room, just to get a feel for the concert instrument.

Teaching philosophy

As teachers, we emphasize consistency, perseverance, attention to detail, and critical thinking.  Every one of these skills is a benefit to the student, not only in music, but in their life beyond.  Both the piano and violin teacher is in a somewhat unique situation to be able to apply all of these abilities to their subject of teaching.  We endeavor to instill every one of these skills into our students, developing them not only as musicians, but as humans.  

On a technical level, the development of strong fundamentals in our youngest students is of the utmost importance.  Lesson time is split between learning pieces and basic theory.  Once they have progressed to a level of reading strong enough to handle it, we begin to focus on traditional repertoire.  Our ultimate goal with each student is to give them all the skills necessary to teach themselves, to see the details in the music and apply them.  When we see a student is ready, we often assign them a piece to learn by themselves, in order to develop a sense of confidence in their own abilities.

We find that the moment a student walks into their lesson, you have an idea of how that hour will pan out.  It could be that the student will be engaged with a new and exciting piece, or by simply taking five minutes out of their lesson time to talk.  We find, incidentally, that taking those five minutes to draw them out of their shell and make a connection makes for a much more receptive lesson.

In today’s world, we often encounter children who have never been exposed to classical music. As we saw many of our students struggling with this problem, Illya decided to write a piano book for them, incorporating new music techniques alongside comic-book style illustrations.  Katha decided to write a story to follow along with the book- and it was as if a light had been flicked on.  Suddenly, the children were responding to the music, and getting excited about lessons.  Illya went on to write two more books for our studio, and is working on a fourth.  In addition, we also enjoy introducing non-traditional repertoire such as Kurtag, Glass, Bolcom and others to those students who have a curiosity for it.  Our final goal with this repertoire, however, is not only to connect these students with newer works, but to then guide them towards the classical repertoire that we cherish and love most.

Schimmel Grand Piano

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