Where are Lessons Offered
My name is Elena Shagalov Drabkin. I teach piano to children and adults of all levels, from beginners to intermediate to advanced students. I have been teaching piano for over 25 years, first starting in Moscow, Russia, then, upon relocating to the United States, on the Boston’s North Shore. Currently my studio is located in Clifton area of Marblehead, Massachusetts.
I love to teach and to share my experience and knowledge with my students. I feel the necessity to carry on to the next generations the traditions of music education that I received. I strongly believe that classical music is providing a person with a unique experience of spiritual enrichment.
While I allow the participation in the recitals to be completely optional, I strongly encourage my students to perform in public. Studio recitals for families and friends are held twice a year. Each time they turn out to be truly exiting and joyous occasions for the performers and the audience, as well as rewarding experience for me.
In addition to the studio recitals many of my students have performed at the recitals of New England Piano Teachers Association (NEPTA), as well as at such festivals as American Fine Arts Festival in New York City (venues included Merkin Hall and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall), Russian Music Festival (Weill Recital Hall and Ramon Rivera Hall at the Rivers Conservatory in Weston), and Massachusetts Music Teacher Association’s Judged Festival at Indian Hill Music School.
Several of my students became the prize-winners at Massachusetts Music Teachers’ Association (MMTA) Baystate Competition, International Chopin Competition in Hartford CT, and Steinway Society of Massachusetts Competition.
My Musical Education Background
At the age of seven I was accepted to the Moscow Gnessins School for gifted children. During the following eleven years I was blessed with having so many excellent teachers and talented classmates. Evgeny Kissin who is one of the most celebrated pianists in the world today, was in our class. I was also very fortunate to play duets with a violinist Julia Krasko, the future winner of the Paganini Competition in Genoa.
Upon graduation from the Gnessins School in 1989 I entered the Russian Academy of Music, also located in Moscow. I continued my piano studies with professor Vladimir M. Tropp, an exceptional pianist and teacher. While having selected piano as my major, I also devoted my time to playing in various chamber ensembles, including violin and cello duet, quartet and quintet. During five years I spent at the Academy I performed as a soloist and a member of chamber ensembles in many Moscow concert halls including Scriabin Museum, Goldenveyzer Museum, Composer’s Union, Small and Grand Halls of the Academy.
However, the most exciting and rewarding experience was becoming a piano teacher myself. Starting as a sophomore and until the graduation from the Academy I studied the methods of piano teaching with Bertha L. Kremenshteyn and had practical teaching lessons with Irina M. Ivanova. Ms. Ivanova was supervising my work with two students. I am proud to say that our efforts resulted in such a success that both students later became professional musicians. Since then teaching piano has occupied an important place in my life.
In 1994 I graduated from the Russian Academy of Music with MA diploma with honors.
Genres and Subjects Taught
I maintain individual approach to each of my students by taking into careful consideration his or her abilities, disposition, and previous musical experience. Thus I make sure that each of my students is studying at a comfortable, yet not too slow, pace. I always respect the musical taste and preferences of my students and allow intermediate and advanced students to choose pieces to play if they wish to do so. For beginners and those students who prefer to rely on my choice of music I do my best to select the pieces that suit their personality and provide valuable learning experience. The repertoire of my students includes works by classical composers from Bach to Prokofiev, as well as jazz pieces, popular songs and music from movies.
I strive to help my students develop their musical intelligence and genuine love for music. As a result, music theory, ear training, and understanding of the elements of style as well as historical context of the particular works are all important parts of the lessons. My goal is not just to teach my students “to strike the right keys at the right time”, but to guide them into the world of the endless beauty that music brings us, to teach them to concentrate on listening and appreciate every sound they play.
Lesson rates start at $35.
I offer $5 discount to the students who attend lessons twice a week and to the siblings.
Ages / Skill Levels Taught
Teaching all levels, from beginner to advanced.
My Certifications and Awards
B.M., M.M., Russian Academy of Music (formerly Gnessins Institute of Music)
My Musical Influences
Composers: J.S.Bach, L.van Beethoven, J.Brahms, F.Chopin, S.S.Prokofiev, F.Schubert, R.Schumann
Performers: E.Gilels, M.- A.Hamelin,M.Lidsky, C.Ludwig,I.Menuhin, D.Oistrakh,M.Rostropovich, A.Schiff, V.M.Tropp
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