The earliest exposure to the piano in the primary lesson learning environment comes with an opportunity to teach the singing tone– to sensitize young ears to the instrument’s capacity to resonate with beauty. It’s not just an ear-training experience. The exploration of physical/musical expression, with imagination intertwined, can fill a very young child’s lesson with the most essential ingredients of learning. These lay the groundwork for further growth and development over time.
Irina Morozova, an inspiring pianist and teacher, invited me into her elementary learning sanctuary at the Special Music School/Kaufman Center. It was on a balmy autumn Monday afternoon that I propped my tripod in a crowded corner of a room with two grand pianos; a small child perched at the Steinway; her dad watching, and a camcorder in automatic recording mode.
In the morning I had observed advanced instruction with Olivier and Daniel. The latter, a sixth-grader, had been mentored by Irina since Kindergarten so I was about to understand how a student could progress from musical infancy to a level of conspicuous maturation under the wings of a great teacher.
In summary, a rich musical journey taken in baby steps becomes meaningful when all the senses are tapped into, and imagination infused. Even the very youngest piano student can absorb what it means to “sing” through the piano, and how to enlist graceful, supple wrist fluid motions to create beauty and experience sensory fulfillment.
Thanks to Irina Morozova and Hana’s parents for permitting this glimpse at a lovely work in progress.
During the interview below, Irina Morozova discussed her approach to teaching Daniel from the very beginning of his studies. (included is a 2012 sample of her student’s artistry)
BIO: Irina Morozova
Piano; B.M. with Honors, Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music; M.M., Manhattan School of Music; piano studies with Vladimir Shakin, Galina Orlovskaya, Arkady Aronov; performances include Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, New American Chamber orchestra; participated in Film America’s “Music in the 20th Century” series; awards include Frinna Awerbuch, San Antonio International Piano Competitions; teaches, performs at International Keyboard Institute and Festival in NY; faculty, Mannes College of Music, Manhattan school of Music, Special Music School.
“Irina Morozova made her New York debut with a solo recital at Carnegie Hall in 1996 after winning Artists International Auditions. Critics raved, “Morozova possesses an astonishing beauty of sound and power of ideas…she is the sort of pianist who can turn a simple phrase into magic….”
“Born to a musical family, Irina Morozova began her musical studies at the Leningrad Special Music School for Gifted Children and graduated with honors from the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music where her major teacher was Galina Orlovskaya. Studying with Vladimir Shakin at the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory, she performed in the concert halls of Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, and many other cities in the former Soviet Union. She also toured former East Germany and appeared with the Berlin Radio Symphony in the famed Schauspielhaus.
(A list of performance credits is too long to tabulate, though they encompass a variety of international venues.)
“Ms. Morozova received her Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Dr. Arkady Aronov. Since 1997 she has been on the faculties of Mannes College of Music and the Special Music School at Kaufman Center.”