Archive for the ‘Practical Advice’ Category

Piano-Yoga® London Pop-Up Event: Conquering Performance Nerves

We are excited to announce a pop-up Piano-Yoga® event which will take place in the heart of London, Shoreditch Treehouse and will be lead by the Piano-Yoga® founder, the Russian born concert pianist and composer, GéNIA. 

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About Piano-Yoga® 

Piano-Yoga® method is suitable for pianists of all levels and ages, and offers a unique holistic system of playing which combines the fundamentals of the traditional Russian piano schools with principles from Eastern philosophies, especially yoga. The method utilises aspects of movement, gravity and breathing, creating a more natural and organic approach to piano playing, performing and teaching. The aims are in focusing your piano practice, improving concentration, building strength in the fingers and hands, establishing good posture at the piano, and conquering performance nerves. Piano-Yoga® radically improves technique, and unblocks tension. 

The method has been featured in major music publications in the UK and internationally:

 ‘It really does work.’ – Piano Professional Magazine, UK

‘I’d highly recommend it.’- Music Teacher Magazine

‘I would encourage any pianist, amateurs and professionals alike, to sign up to one of [GéNIA’s] courses!’- International Piano 

“The 21st -century answer to playing the piano” – Yoga and Health Magazine, UK

Piano-Yoga Evebt

About ‘Conquering Performance Nerves’ Workshop

This particular workshop will focus on Conquering Performance Nerves. Just in time for the summer ABRSM graded exams, as well as the end of term in many music institutions, this workshop aims to provide additional help to those who find themselves suffering from performance nerves. Aiming at the medium to advanced level, amateur and professional musicians, the participants will be invited to take their shoes off and wear loose clothing in order to be able to do various exercises. Please note that this event is also suitable for musicians playing other instruments, and is not only limited to piano players. If you would like to play at the workshop, whether just one page or a whole piece, please advise GéNIA at the start of the event.

GéNIA’s first Piano-Yoga® book was published in 2009 in conjunction with the creation of the Piano-Yoga® Studio, which is housed at the famous Schott Music shop in London, offering a variety of playing methods which encourage individuality and self-confidence. GéNIA’s Piano-Yoga® project is represented online at www.piano-yoga.com where free educational resources are provided, such as the Piano-Yoga® article series, exercises designed specifically for pianists, performance preparation advice and useful downloads. GéNIA qualified in 2008 as B.W.Y. (British Wheel of Yoga) teacher and trained with The Life Centre®, London.

About GéNIA

Descried by The Timesas ‘an outstanding musician’ GéNIA is as  acclaimed pioneer in the classical music scene, with numerous releases, TV and radio appearances, GéNIA was initiated into the piano in the Ukraine by her great-grandmother, Regina Horowitz (sister of pianist Vladimir Horowitz), before moving to London to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and Trinity Laban College of Music. GéNIA performed worldwide (London venues include Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, St Martin in the Fields, Kings Place, to name just a few venues) and has been pursuing her career as a composer for the past 6 years. Since then, her compositions have been played on Classic FM, BBC Radio London, London Live TV News Channel, and are regularly played in all Caffe Nero Branches worldwide. Her compositions have been placed in the highly acclaimed TV Series ‘Killing Eve’ and ‘Cold Feet’. She recently released her new album ‘Babylon’, immediately following sold-out London show. 

FAQs

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

This workshop is suitable for musicians from age 12 onwards. 

FAQs

What can I bring into the event?

You can bring your own yoga mat if you like and yoga belt.

FAQs

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

You are welcome to email us on info@piano-yoga.com

Book Your Ticket Via Eventbrite.co.uk

GéNIA Speaks to Aurelia About Her Life and Work

Probiotic skincare company ‘Aurelia’ recently spoke to GéNIA about her work, balancing the many aspects to her life as a pianist and composer, the importance and handcare as a pianist and some tips on how to relax.

Click here to read the full interview.

 

 

 

 

GéNIA Launches her Piano-Yoga® Club in London

Virtuoso pianist and composer GéNIA announces the launch of the first ever monthly Piano-Yoga® Club! The project is a new brainchild of this ‘charismatic pianist’ (Gramophone Magazine) and will take place at the historic Schott Music store in the heart of London.

Pianist GéNIA

Pianist of all levels will now be able to experience the Piano-Yoga® method that was described by Piano & Health Magazine as ‘ the first entirely new piano technique to emerge in over 50 years’  and ‘something radical’ at this new regular monthly Club night. Starting in September and running on the 1st Wednesday of every month the Piano-Yoga® Club will provide a truly unique opportunity to acquire in-depth learning about this unique holistic method from its creator herself, ‘an outstanding musician’ ( The Times) , GéNIA.

Based on a synergy between the Russian School of Piano Playing and Eastern Philosophies, especially Yoga, Piano-Yoga® believes that, with a simple and holistic approach, which takes into account an individual’s physical, psychological and energetic state, one can learn faster and more easily. Strongly emphasising the uniqueness of each human being, Piano-Yoga® teaches musicians how to learn to play the piano utilising their strengths, while gently working on improving their weaknesses. Whether one has tight shoulders, tension in their arms, rhythm problems, performance nerves or the inability to organise piano practice efficiently, Piano-Yoga® can offer various solutions and teach musicians how to be in charge of their own progress.

Paying great attention to the musician’s environment, which can be a lonely existence, especially for pianists, GéNIA believes that the Piano-Yoga® Club will attract like–minded people and become a great place for interactive, creative and noncompetitive music making.

Click HERE for booking details and more information on the all new Piano-Yoga® Club.

How to Find the Best Piano Teacher for You

Piano-Yoga Teacher

Image Courtesy of shutterstock.com

In finding the best piano teacher, there are many ingredients that must be right. Sometimes the best piano teacher for one person could be a complete nightmare for another. Therefore, when choosing the right teacher for yourself, child or even for someone else, it is important to use certain criteria which work over and above professional qualifications and/or a friendly personality.

Below is a simple “TO DO” list I recommend anyone to go through when looking for the piano teacher:

 

 

1) Qualifications
2) Years of teaching experience
3) Main area of expertise
4) Level of Professionalism
5) Personal Compatibility
6) The extent of piano teaching
7) Location
8) Online Piano Tuition

Here is a little more information about each of those points:

Qualification

It is good to have the teacher who studied at one of the major Music Schools and Colleges. If you live in London (UK), it could be The Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama or Trinity College of Music to name just a few. Why? Because this will guarantee that the teachers who studied at these establishments have been taught well and therefore will teach to high professional standard and will be unlikely to pass on any wrong or ‘unhealthy’ methods to their students. You can indentify which institution someone has graduated from by simply looking at the letters following their name, and later, checking them online. Also, if you can access the teacher’s biography, their degrees and diplomas may be explained further.

Amongst the most established UK qualifications, here are a few examples of Music Degrees:
BMus, MMus, MPerf, MComp, MA, MPhil, PhD, MMP, DMus and Diplomas LRAM, PGDip, AdvDip, ARCM, DipRCM, ADCM , Artist Diploma, , LGSM, AGSM, PGDip, Dip GSM., ATCL, LTCL, FTCL, PGA, PGD . I have used the examples from the main educational bodies – Royal Academy of Music (www.ram.ac.uk). Royal College of Music (www.rcm.ac.uk), Guildhall School of Music and Drama ( www.gsmd.ac.uk) and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance ( www.trinitylaban.ac.uk)

Years of teaching experience

This can also be quite beneficial. Although there are a lot of young teachers who can be very good and effective, the benefit of working with a more experienced teacher is that, once a student starts facing difficulties (and believe me, this moment always occurs at some stage along the tuition process), the experienced teacher would be likely to guide a pupil through these difficulties more quickly, whereas the younger teacher may not be able to help so immediately, or at all, whilst stumbling through the blocks. It is also good to get any feedback from past and current students of the teacher in question and, if possible, find out about the teacher’s achievement list (for example how many students won competitions, got high grades, participated in all sorts of public performance, etc.).

Main area of expertise

Some teachers are strictly classical, some do mainly jazz, some do a few instruments. The last group would be the ones I would approach with caution, to make sure that their level of expertise is high enough to teach each instrument. It is also quite good to see if the teacher can play a little bit for you, as then you may know straight away if you would like to learn from this person.

Level of Professionalism

This is a quality that I personally value very much in any area of expertise – it is important that a teacher starts and finishes the lesson on time, clearly explains the fee structure and terms & conditions of the lesson. It is important that a teacher informs a student what needs to be brought to the lesson and what role they expect the parents to play in the students’ education.

Personal Compatibility

This is a very important quality for a teacher to have. It goes beyond just being friendly. The energy and the overall approach of the teacher should match the energy of each student. For example, if the student is in a receptive mode, then the teacher should provide a lot of knowledge, so to be in a ‘giving mode’, but if the student is in a creative and active mood, then the teacher should provide this knowledge through inspiration, by encouraging the student to find an answer for themselves. Experienced teachers should be able to match the energy and state of a student’s mind on each separate occasion. It is very important that both a teacher and a student have a harmonious and balanced energy exchange during the lesson.

The extent of piano teaching

This area often gets overlooked, as all we want at the beginning is piano lessons. However, with the passage of time, some students want more then just an hour of piano lessons per week. They would like to know about performance opportunities, the best competitions, thorough help in choosing piano repertoire, information on the best performers, concerts, etc. If you know in advance that you might require some of the above information, it would be a good idea to ask the teacher if they would be prepared to give it to you. Some of them would be happy, whilst some would not, sometimes purely because of the lack of time and/ or knowledge.

Location

Of course, if you want to learn to play piano, you should try to find the teacher who best fits all the points outlined above, and the best might not be in the area close to you. However, it is important to consider the location as, particularly, if you live in a big city where travelling takes an hour or more each way, taking your child after school on a weekly basis may tire them out, and therefore this is important to consider. In general, from my personal experience, students tend to have more regular lessons with teachers who are close to them as compared to less regular, often prolonged classes with the teachers who live far away. For more advanced, adult players this may not be a big problem, but if you are a beginner, you may want to have more regular lessons on a weekly basis (and this is what I would recommend).

Online Piano Tuition

During the last 5 years, the number of students I teach via Skype has grown. With faster and better internet connection, this method has became possible. I find the benefits of teaching via Skype (apart from obviously the lack of travel) include the fact that lessons become more precise and concentrated, where the camera lets you direct its focus to a specific angle of the hand and/or finger. The drawback is the quality of sound which, of course, will never be as good as the live sound; however it is still pretty decent. For those of my students who live far away from London, Skype piano lessons provide a great solution which should not be overlooked when choosing the best method of studying to fit in with your lifestyle.

To help you further I devised a simple questioner which I give out in my GéNIA MUSIC School and Piano-Yoga® School, to students who enquire about lessons. This helps them and us to choose them the best teacher and the best approach to the piano tuition:

1) List Your Name
2) List Your Age
3) Describe your current piano playing level
4) What is your piano aspiration (perform in public, do grades, learn to memorise, etc)
5) How much time do you have to practice (realistically)
6) How often can you come to your piano lessons (one a week, twice a week, once at fortnight, come when I want to) or would you prefer to do a lessons via Skype? Or would you prefer to do both?
7) What pieces are you playing at the moment?
8) What pieces you would like to play?
9) What pieces you listen to?
10) What type of memory do you have (photographic, symbolic, literary, aural)?
11) How do you learn best (aurally, motorically (by repeating after teacher) visually, etc)?

When you start looking for your teacher, it would be a good idea to finalise for yourself what you are looking for, as this would help you to focus on finding the best piano teacher!

Good luck with your search!

GéNIA

Russian Virtuoso Pianist GéNIA is a founder of Piano-Yoga® Method and is the director of GéNIA MUSIC School and Piano-Yoga® School, both located in Central London: www.piano-yoga.com and www.genia-music.com

 

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