What do you like most about your job?
I believe in children. When I was asked to give a definition to a child, I said, “A child is an angel. We degrade forgetting our childhood. Only an adult who manages to save a child in him is worthy”.
Children energize me, refresh my brain and heart, and hep me see better the real values of life. Each of them is The Little Prince from Saint Exupery’s fairytale, and I try to be up to their expectations and not to lose their trust.
Nothing can be better than being close to the children. Of course, I love music and languages, and I love those people who work with me. I am happy that parents of our students value our presence in their kids’ lives.
Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
I really don’t like to brag, but I believe that my three bachelor of arts degrees in education, California teacher credentials in the subjects I teach and in the early childhood education that I’ve got, together with my decades of teaching and learning, may put me out from a great number of teachers. I know it well that, usually, traditionally trained music teachers avoid to deal with the youngest children, because they have no idea about how to approach those little ones who have a very short span of attention and who need to feel like they are at play when learning. My years of studying age-based psychology and 26 units in early childhood education do help me greatly to be appreciated by the youngest children and their parents. I know how to TRAIN my staff in order to have them also teach little ones.
Also, because I’m representing the world-known Russian piano school, I think, I am appreciated by my students and my staff. I am comfortable teaching children of any age and level.
I am not the only representative of the Russian music school. Please, see our guitar teacher: www.arinaburceva.com.
At our school, we believe strongly in human relationships, and we do not like it that nowadays people are getting divided into two groups-sellers and buyers. That is why, the first thing we are trying to build is the TRUST among the staff, parents and students. We are the Community of Kindred Spirits, and our students are NOT our clients but rather respectful and grateful students of inspired, loving teachers.
What questions should a student ask to hire the right instructor?
What degree do you have? Do you have a California teacher credential? What age of students do you prefer to teach: 3-4 year-olds, 5-6 year-olds, middle school students, high school students, or adults? Do you have preferences regarding methods and method books? Are you flexible regarding students’ expressing their desires to play specific pieces they like? What if they want to play the pieces that are higher than their level? Would you adapt those pieces, look for adaptations, or just tell them it’s too hard? Do you teach music theory and solfege along with playing an instrument? Do you allow parents to be present in class? Do you allow the use of recording devices in order to help their children to practice at home? Is there any possibility to rent an instrument from your school?
If it’s about teaching languages, of course, I’ll ask if the instructor is a professional teacher, not just a native speaker of the language she wants to teach.
It it’s about dance, I would ask if the teacher is certified.
If you were a parent looking for a teacher, what do you wish you knew about a potential instructor? Any inside secrets to share?
I would try to find out if the teacher is a caring and affectionate person, who has the highest level of education and years of experience. I would try to figure out if the teacher is able to follow the students’ lead, not only to lead the students. Since I would know well what exactly I or my child would like to learn, what level to reach, and what time frames for learning to have, I would ask the teacher if she can accept the plan I have in my mind. I would ask if the teacher is going to just use common method books for teaching music, or she has better ideas regarding the repertoire that would fit each student. I would be suspicious if the answer is “Only Alfred’s/Farbers’ books are what my students learn from”, and, most likely, I wouldn’t hire that teacher.
If I were trying to hire a language teacher, I’d ask if she is a native speaker of the languages and if she has a degree in teaching it.
Describe the most common types of jobs you and your staff do for your students.
I envision myself mostly as a teacher, while I’m also an administrator. I’ve been a traditional, classically trained piano teacher, a Suzuki teacher, a music teacher at the school for children at risk, and a teacher at several successful music schools. You can see the recommendations on “testimonials” page atwww.trio-school.com. I’m very comfortable teaching music to expecting mothers, to the babies, to 2-3 year-olds, older children and adults of any age.
I also have BA in teaching the Russian languages and literature and years of experience teaching it.
Among my staff, there is a most accomplished, performing in the US, South America, Canada and Europe classical guitar teacher working side by side with me. She accepts students of different ages, including five-year-olds and adults.
The most common types of jobs for us are teaching and performing, and we do them well.
Of course, since I’m an owner/operator, I have more jobs than teaching. I use different ways of marketing my business. One of them looks to be really honorable, as I have been volunteering as a music teacher since November 2011 in a hope to get students for my school. My teaching 67 students free of charge has helped them sing and play instruments, and to perform on stage on Christmas and at the end of the school year, in May 2012. Some of them have become students of our school.