|photo: Stephanie Betjemann|
Lyric diction for singers:
Italian, German, French, Spanish
I believe that music has the power to move people in fundamental, inexplicable ways. I believe that we are all musical souls with our original ideas. I believe in the creativity and musical honesty of our children, and that a good teacher can energize and give voice to that creativity.
The love of music is innate, but fostering that love through lessons leads to the development of the student's own voice, confidence, and commitment. I find that frequent performance opportunities and recitals encourage children's performance abilities and self-esteem, building a sense of community among the students. I encourage young musicians to choose and play pieces of music that speak to their souls, with my task being to help them get ahead in any type of music they choose. Experience has shown me that theory, composition, and musical arrangement are vital to becoming a well-rounded musician, and a strong technical foundation is necessary in order to express one's artistry.
I serve on the faculty of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and hold Masters and Doctorate degrees from the USC Thornton School of Music, where I studied piano performance, collaboration, and pedagogy on scholarship. My undergraduate degree is from the San Francisco Conservatory and I attended the highly competitive Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and the Colburn School.
I have been teaching piano for 25 years, having served on the faculties of the Munich International School, the San Domenico School, the Lark Musical Society, the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, and the Artetonal Schule für Musik. I see that students do well in a supportive, encouraging, motivating environment. This environment has helped my students win competitions including the PTA Reflections Music Composition Competition and the Armenian Allied Arts Songwriting/Composition Competition. As a pianist I have won prestigious competitions, including the US Open Music Competition, the Leni FéBland Foundation Competition, the Armenian Allied Arts Competition, and the MTAC VOCE Competition. I have played with or for artists including Midori, Felicia Weathers, Eleanor Schönfeld, Alice Schönfeld, Ron Leonard, and Martin Chalifour. My teachers include Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Stewart Gordon, Antoinette Perry, James Bonn, Laurette Goldberg and Lucinda Carver (harpischord), Mack McCray, Polli Chambers-Salazar, Caroline Oltmanns, Timothy Ehlen, and Natalie Dalschaert.
In teaching, I put great emphasis upon public performances, organizing several large recitals per year, and I keep my prices comparably low because I am trying to recruit students who are dedicated and hard workers, though not necessarily born into great privilege. In protecting my students' privacy, you will not see pictures of them on my website or on my social media pages. But I am extremely proud of my current and former students, whose years of study have helped prepare them for institutions including Yale, Brown, Berkeley, Juilliard, Duke, Northwestern, USC, UCLA, UCSD, Polytechnic Academy, CAMS, and Eton.
My publications include My First Armenian Songbook and Asdghig Wants to Grow Up Quickly, which won the most prestigious prize for Western Armenian literature, the Tölölyan Prize (2021). I work as a collaborator with instrumentalists and singers. I teach languages to opera singers and also offer piano lessons in multiple languages: German, Italian, Armenian, Spanish, and English (native speaker).
Lessons vary between 45 and 90 minutes in length, depending on level. I help prepare students for the Royal Conservatory of Music and am recommended by RCM as a teacher whose students have consistently perform at high levels.
I believe that music is a source of light in the world. Teaching children to understand the language of music will enrich their lives with a deeper understanding of culture, art, and aesthetics, and will illuminate the future for all of us. I teach in person and virtually and may be contacted below for piano lessons below. My current waitlist for lesson during school hours is three years' long, but I have room for adults and homeschooled children available during school hours.