Conducting, Harp, Keyboard, Music Theory, Piano
Where are Lessons Offered
In Teacher Studio
In Student Home
With an intense passion for excellence and a dedication to encouraging each student to achieve their maximum potential, Alexander Gurin combines his expert teaching abilities, wealth of knowledge and just the right amount of humor to motivate and inspire all levels and ages of musicians. While his credentials and experience speak for themselves, Alexander’s ability to connect with his students and retain their interest is his real gift.
Alexander Gurin was born in St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia. Mr. Gurin attended the Petrograd Music School for Children where he studied violin from age 6 and piano from age 10. Upon finishing school in 1973, Mr. Gurin entered the Rimsky-Korsakov College of the Leningrad State Conservatory graduating in 1979 with a concentration in choral conducting, piano and voice.
After graduation, Mr. Gurin organized and led the Leningrad Children's Choir ages 7 to 15. Mr. Gurin also worked with the Leningrad Academic Chamber Orchestra and Chorus. Mr. Gurin attended the Julliard School of Music where he studied Piano with Oksana Yablonskaya and Orchestral Conducting with Vincent LaSelva.
After moving from New York to Connecticut in 1988, Mr. Gurin was closely associated with the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, where he served as assistant conductor under Maestro Jesse Levine, as well as a Board Member from 1988 to 1998.
Mr. Gurin also served as a Choral Director at the Canterbury School in New Milford, CT. He was responsible for the rehearsals, performances and everyday administration of a 70-member Chorale and Women’s Choir; Octet and Chamber Orchestra; AP Music Theory/Harmony Course; Introductory Course on Composition Principals; Piano Workshops and Vocal Coaching.
Mr. Gurin also held the position of Band Director at the Immaculate High School in Danbury, CT. Mr. Gurin has been on the faculty of Martocchio Music since June of 2000, concentrating on piano and beginner voice.
Mr. Gurin is the Founder and Music Director of Sol Solis Consort, a 24 member chamber orchestra dedicated to performing music from the Baroque and Early Classical periods. The Sol Solis Consort mission is to provide a musical learning experience for young aspiring musicians in the community.
Mr. Gurin is a resident of Harwinton, CT where he lives with his wife Bree; they have a grown son, Serge, who currently lives and works in Manhattan. Mr. Gurin has been teaching children and adults since 1978.
My Musical Education Background
1963 - 1973 Petrograd Music School for Children
Studied Violin from age 6 with Samuel Landau
Studied Piano from age 10 with Ninel Drabkin
1973 - 1979 Rimsky-Korsakov Choral College
Of the St. Petersburg State Conservatory
Choral Conducting - Vladimir Markin
Piano, Voice, Solfeggio and Music Theory
1981 - 1982 Julliard School of Music
Piano, Harmony & Counterpoint
Orchestral Conducting - Vincent LaSelva
Genres and Subjects Taught
Little Prodigy Program
This program is specifically designed for the very young child, generally between ages four and five. Very young students have special needs. Even if they have shown or expressed interest in piano study, their attention span is very short. There are a host of different, very brief activities, all of which contribute to musical playing, that they can master as they slowly extend their ability to remain on task. Very bright students will quickly expand their focus to one half hour and the truly gifted will be focused for an hour or more by age five!
Presenting a different, broader program for students wanting to explore the piano and, whose musical interests may not be served by conventional "classical" programs. While learning the basics of note reading, rhythm, etc., students explore many contemporary sounds and styles. Many families who have purchased electronic keyboards enroll students in this program to evaluate level of interest, commitment, etc. Students will learn a wide variety of contemporary sounds, such as jazz, dance, swing, pop, mood, etc. All the basics will be taught, but because lessons are only 30 minutes, overall progress will be different from other programs. Students may participate in selected year end recitals.
Mainstream Piano Study Program
The Mainstream Program is carefully designed to fulfill the musical needs of most students wishing to learn the piano. Students master the basics of both playing the piano and reading music so they can continue learning and playing throughout their life. Highly motivated students can use this program as a foundation for college entry into music major; others can rest assured they possess the basic skills to have a lifelong enjoyment and skill of music making.
Classical Piano Studies
An Accelerated Approach to Mastering the Piano.
For a comprehensive, artistically conceived musical education, aimed at committed students looking to quickly master the basics. Students completing the program will be accomplished pianists in every sense of the word. This program uses the basic curriculum, plus carefully selected supplementary material, to speed the student through pianistic basics. Focus is on mastering literature and technique necessary to be an accomplished pianist. Students will master and maintain a repertoire of 10 selections at each level, give studio and concert recitals. Students may attend Master Classes.
The Artist Program
Program is available to students by invitation or audition only. Focus is on learning to play using the same musical literature and techniques as the great masters of the 19th and 20th century, thus preparing students for enrolling in top conservatories. Students will master and maintain a repertoire of 12 to 20 selections at each level, give studio and concert recitals. Students will attend Master Classes both in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. The chamber orchestra "Sol Solis Consort" is available to students who wish to perform a piano concerto at this level. Students may attend national and international piano forums. Students must commit to high quality daily practice, eliminate conflicting extra-curricular activities, and families must commit to procuring a high quality piano. Students who believe they might qualify for the Artist program should enroll in the accelerated Classical Studies program. Lessons are one hour or more each week.
Studio Based Lessons - Martocchio Music, LLC - Simsbury, CT
30 Minutes Free Lesson/Consultation - Location - Studio - Simsbury, CT
30 minute weekly $ 37.00
45 minute weekly not available
60 minute weekly $ 72.00
Bi-weekly lessons 60 minutes
Home Based Lesson - provided by Sol Solis Consort organization.
30 Minutes Free Lesson/Consultation - Location - Student's Home
30 minute weekly $ 30.00
45 minute weekly $ 45.00
60 minute weekly $ 60.00
Bi-weekly lessons 45 or 60 minutes
Fall Semester Piano Lessons
September 2014 - December 2014
15 lessons session
Winter Semester Piano Lessons
January 2015 -April 2015
15 lessons session
Spring Semester Piano Lessons
April 2015 - June 2015
8 Lessons session
Summer Session Lessons
June 2015 - August 2015
6 or 8 lessons session
Ages / Skill Levels Taught
Children ages 4 to 15, beginner adults, intermediary and advanced.
My Certifications and Awards
MTNA -Music Teachers National Association - Member
CSMTA - Connecticut State Music Teachers Association - Member
Hartford Chapter CSMTA - Member
My Musical Influences
My early music education in the Soviet Union was primarily influence by Baroque and Early Classical Music - Bach’s Family, early Mozart, and early Beethoven. Russian composers - Tchaikovsky, Balakirev, Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin… In my teens, my musical development was inspired by the western Romantics – Mendelssohn, Schubert, Shuman, and particularly Chopin. During my college years my further pianistic development was shaped by the “giants” – Brahms, Mahler, Wagner, Franz Liszt, Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff… Later, as my further music development progressed naturally from piano to conducting, I developed a passion for choral, symphonic and operatic literature. Then, until age twenty six, I studied with a number of reputable teachers and eventually a short stint in the Julliard School of Music in New York. All of these teachers, except for my last teacher, were extremely reluctant to consider the kind of analytical approach that is so natural to me. This reluctance even extended to the teaching of technique which was largely limited to such remarks as, "Keep your elbows out," or, "Chopin Etudes will give you all the technique you'll ever need." There was no question of the quality of their ears or their musical knowledge. They were not only teachers but experienced performers. They knew a good result when they heard it, but it forced this student into a trial-and-error procedure, praised when lucky and criticized otherwise. Although horribly inefficient, such a system can work in the long run and, for a student with great musical gifts that needs only guidance and not instruction, it can work well. An alternative, albeit unwieldy, the way I teach should be called: “What I wish my teachers had told me years ago.”
My son started learning piano last year with Mr. Gurin at the age of 4. It has been quite a journey thus far; under Mr. Gurin’s tutelage Robert is now working on the classics, less than a year later. Known to Robert as Mr. Alex, he is caring and extremely patient. On several occasions when friends asked how/why he plays piano so well Robert responded that he learned from “Mr. Alex! You should take piano with him!” And when asked why Mr. Alex, Robert said “Mr. Alex is smart and he knows a lot!” I too share that sentiment with my 5 years old son!
My daughter is 12 and she says the following about Ales Guerin: "Alex has been my piano teacher for 2 years now. He is very enthusiastic, which helps me stretch my potential. He is easy to work with and the atmosphere is comfortable. Alex is very flexible, if I miss my lesson it is easy to reschedule." I would add, as her mom, that I have been very happy with Alex Guerin as her piano teacher. He is very patient with her and quite understanding of her personality and talkative nature. She has practiced at home without being asked, so i know he gives her the inspiration and encouragement that she needs to stay motivated between lessons. I would highly recommend him!
Two of my sons have been studying piano with Alex for the past 6 years. They began playing so well that I began working with him 3 years ago. Alex is an excellent teacher, pays close attention to detail, proper technique and musical interpretation. He is thoughtful, caring and patient and strives to get the most out of his students. We feel fortunate to have him as a teacher and highly recommend him to any potential student, young or old.
West Hartford, CT
My Daughter and Son have been taking piano lessons from Alex for 2+ years. Alex is not only an exceptional pianist but his teaching style is like no other. He is so wonderful with the children and has a great way of motivating them to practice as well as master new skills. My daughter plays by ear and he was able to teach her to read music while keeping it fun for her. I would hands up recommend Alex to anyone.
My son Joey has been taking lessons from Alex Gurin for over two years. His teaching style works very well for Joey-- he challenges Joey to do his best while providing encouragement and praise. Alex also can read Joey well and knows when to scale back if Joey is struggling. He has a great sense of humor that Joey really enjoys. Joey has now moved into Mozart and Bach as he begins his third year, and I am looking forward to the progress I know he'll continue to make under Alex's guidance.
Alex Gurin has been our son's piano teacher for over seven years. He is a master teacher; his demeanor, teaching style and expertise have allowed Andrew to truly enjoy playing the piano. Alex is patient, kind, and talented, and Andrew always came away from his lessons energized to tackle a new piece of music. We highly recommend Alex as your child's music teacher. He is the best!
I began fulfilling a life-long dream of taking piano lessons two years ago at age 58. Alex Gurin of Martocchio Music is my teacher. I can't say enough good things about Alex as a piano teacher, especially for adults. He combines excellent technical skills and expertise with an outstanding ability to teach in ways that produce good results/progress for the student, yet maintain the student's interest in learning. My program alternates between periods of concentration on exercises to improve my technique with those of learning to play relatively difficult piano concertos and sonatas. As a result, my basic technique has improved significantly, while at the same time I have continued to play classical piano works that I thoroughly enjoy. I recommend Alex without qualification to students of any age -- including adults -- who wish to study the piano under a truly exceptional professional teacher.
My daughter has been taking lessons from Alex for the past seven years. Alex has worked with her in a style that has resulted in significant progress over the years. He knows when to push and also when to pull back and has a nice balanced style of teaching that enhances the student's learning instead of creating frustration. He has a sincere interest in making the music experience enjoyable for the student. I would highly recommend Alex as your piano teacher.