Sergei Rachmaninoff once said “Music is enough for a lifetime. But, a lifetime is not enough for music”. The primary goal and focus of Anemone Piano Studio is to provide students with the highest level of musical education in the concentration of classical piano, so graduating students can continue the tradition of classical music with a lifetime filled with playing and enjoyment.
The early curriculum at Anemone Piano Studio utilizes the Russian School of Piano Playing, by Alexander Nikolaev. In my opinion, this is the best method book available to young students, as it moves at an appropriately fast pace, exposes students to many fundamental musical concepts that they will encounter in all of classical literature, and the selections are musical and allow for the student to play with artistry and creativity from the beginning. In addition, fundamental technical concepts are introduced at the very beginning to ensure that students begin with proper technical habits. The goal after completing the Russian School of Piano Playing series would be to continue with increasingly more complex and advanced piano literature throughout the rest of their education. With years of lessons and hard work, any student can reach a very high level of playing by the time they graduate high school.
To ensure this success, a positive and close relationship between myself (the teacher), parents, and child is necessary to ensure proper communication, allowing certainty that students can learn and enjoy playing the piano. I believe that the personal connection is an extremely important factor that determines the progress and happiness of the lessons.
Daily practice is a requirement to complete assignments, for students to realize their potential, see sufficient improvement, and thus develop a willingness to continue practicing and progressing. As students advance, the time of practice must be properly adjusted. The more complicated the repertoire, the more time required to spend studying and preparing. Additionally, the length of the lessons must be adjusted to suit the level of the student as well. Many students who are more serious can benefit from having multiple lessons per week. A suitable acoustic instrument is required of all students, as the digital keyboard is a very poor substitution. Advanced students even should consider a baby grand or grand piano, as there are many advantages over the upright piano.
As music and piano is a performing art, regular performance is necessary for students. Some of the reasons include providing students events to work towards, a reason to practice more, and to bring students and families together. At Anemone Piano Studio, many concerts and performances are offered throughout the year. There is a Winter and Summer Recital, a Spring Festival consisting of a recital, final senior recitals, masterclasses, and occasionally faculty recitals. I frequently offer monthly group studio performing classes to give students the chance to perform newer pieces and receive feedback and comments from each other. Beginning at the late-beginner level, many students begin performing outside the studio in various festivals, competitions, and recitals throughout the year.
Unlike most professional musicians, I did not grow up with a strong early background in classical music. Most of what I have learned was from teachers later in high school and in college. As a result, I always think about how my life could have been different had I received proper early training. I believe that every student should have the right and opportunity to learn at the highest level possible, regardless of if they are learning the piano for pleasure or for the pursuit of becoming a professional musician themself.