My students: Testimonials
Mrs Petrov's approach is to teach you how to teach yourself by approaching the challenges in a new piece in a systematic and intelligent way. She has a technique, tip or practice aid for most situations and the result is improvement (or at least a road map for improvement) rather than frustration. Some of the tips may seem unorthodox, as my wife can attest, after she found that I had borrowed her handbags (that I put on my wrists) to assist in developing proper weight in the forearm, but they are helpful. Her innate and complete understanding of the instrument and of the anatomy of playing is remarkable. How anyone can deduce (by overhearing a warm up scale from the kitchen next to the studio practice room where she is making coffee), that there is slight tension in the fourth finger of the left hand is beyond me.
She motivates all levels of learners and makes her students think 'outside the box' in order to become well-rounded and musically intellectual students. For me personally, my piano lessons with Marina take me back to Music College and place me in the driving seat of my own learning - and I love that!
When I first met Marina, I was struggling to break out of a slump after many years of mechanical piano playing. Since I started lessons with her, she inspired me greatly and I have progressed enormously with her guidance. She is a wonderful piano teacher with great knowledge, skills and patience. It is amazing that she has such a good ear that she can point out exactly what I need to do to play better. She is the teacher who taught me not just to play pieces but how to listen to and understand what the music is saying. I owe a lot to her for my success in exams including a diploma over the past few years and am still excited about the prospect of more progress with her in the future.
When I have a problem concerning my piano playing, instead of just telling me off, she would explain what I am doing wrong. Then, she not only suggests a solution that might work, but also explains why it is correct. A particular example of a problem that I came across frequently due to my posture was what Mrs. Petrov calls "sausage thumbs" (her expression for flat thumbs on the keys).
I was a complete beginner unable to read music and am of 'mature' years. Although Marina is a professor of music capable of playing extremely complicated musical scores, I feel she pays as much attention to detail in my lessons as she would if she were teaching a concert pianist.
Within a year, my technique was greatly improved due to techniques that Ms. Petrov taught me, allowing me to advance to a higher level. She also taught me that merely playing the notes was not the same as playing well. This may seem intuitive, but it is something that not many teachers focus on.
If you have a problem doing something particular in a piece, Mrs Petrov will help you to work out why you struggle with it and help to resolve it .It is fun and interesting to learn about completely different genres of music and how piano techniques differ from each of these genres. Even though I learn loads in my piano lessons, they are not laborious; the lessons are fun and enjoyable, and we do laugh quite a bit about a number of things.
Mrs. Petrov's advice not only applies specifically to piano or music, but can also affect academic studies and overall wellbeing in life. Studying with Mrs. Petrov-Stoykovich brings a very profound insight into the music and although the work is challenging, it becomes very rewarding to perform at her student recitals.
Despite being taught by an experienced pianist, you do not ever find yourself completely overwhelmed or intimidated by her presence. Playing pieces for Ms Petrov is actually helpful because her feedback is honest - which in turn, helps determine whether I have actually made progress from previous lesson.
I previously learnt the piano for about ten years, but had never had the detailed tuition on matters such as wrist position, differing techniques for producing staccato sounds, and the importance of body posture as that provided by Marina. Indeed even now, my scales are regularly corrected and with each new piece, Marina will help me to learn and develop techniques to master challenges presented by composers from the baroque period to modern day music.
I have always thoroughly enjoyed Mrs Petrov's lessons. Her methods of teaching are extremely helpful. As well as teaching the musical aspects of a piece, Mrs Petrov also focuses on technique which is vital for a pianist. My posture has improved and I've managed to decrease the tension in my upper body. Since having her as a teacher I have developed not only my playing but also the way in which I approach playing.
Ms Petrov has been teaching me piano for ten years now, since I was seven. Over that time, I have found her to be very passionate about piano playing and music. She motivates me to practice, is very supportive and helps me to understand music. I have greatly enjoyed learning to play the piano with her as my teacher.
When I began studying with her, I had a total of about 1 year piano experience, punctuated by a number of long periods during which I was unable to play due to injuries caused by a combination of poor technique and over practicing. I also spend a lot of time working with computers, which exacerbated my problems. In my time with Marina, I have had to go back and relearn the basics of technique. This has been challenging, however with her guidance and her stress on relaxation as well as the correct use of arm weight, I am now able to play with none of the tensions that led to my problems.