|photo: Stephanie Betjemann|
I believe in music. 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 help voice that creativity.
I believe that the love of music is innate, but that fostering that love through lessons leads to the development of the child's own voice, confidence, and commitment. I believe that small biannual studio recitals encourage children's performance abilities and self-esteem, and that students should play whatever music which speaks to their souls, with my job being to help them get ahead in any type of music they choose. I believe that theory, composition, and musical arrangement are vital to being a well-rounded musician, and that a strong technical foundation is necessary in order to express one's artistry.
The best teachers practice what they preach. My own compositions and arrangements have been published in My First Armenian Songbook, and I play the piano on a daily basis with the Redondo Ballet and through my private engagements with instrumentalists and singers. I teach languages to opera singers and also offer piano lessons in other languages: German, Italian, Armenian, Spanish, and English.
I have been teaching for almost 25 years, including 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 believe that students do well in a supportive, encouraging, motivating environment. This environment has helped my students have win competitions including the PTA Reflections Music Composition Competition and the Armenian Allied Arts Songwriting/Composition Competition. I am a faculty member and lecturer at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music (read my UCLA bio here). My masters and doctorate degrees are from the USC Thornton School of Music, where I studied piano performance, collaboration, and pedagogy. My undergraduate degree is from the San Francisco Conservatory, where I graduated as valedictorian. As a pianist, I have 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 and 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, and Natalie Dalschaert.
Lessons take place on a beautiful Mason & Hamlin baby grand in my studio in West Torrance. Lessons are between 30 to 90 minutes, depending on level. I encourage and prepare those students who are interested for the Royal Conservatory of Music exams.
I believe that music is a source of light in the world. Teaching children to understand the language of music will bring light and beauty to their lives, and will illuminate the future for all of us. Please contact me below for piano lessons.