I started taking lessons with Elena about a year ago. At that time, I only had few months of piano background, so I was a beginner. I can tell that I am not ready to stop taking lessons with her! It’s been a great year of practice and progress. As a beginner I was/am very focused on trying to get to hit the right keys and that’s it. She opened the world of music to me through ear training, learning how to listen to the instrument, and using my voice to understand the relationship between breathing and playing. On top of that she helped me understand the music we play, by talking about theory, scales, chords, to make sense of the music. Each lesson is passionate. She manages to mix theory, technical practice, sound and music. She’s imaginative, always tries to find ‘the’ exercise, ‘the’ practice to get us to where she wants us to be. She does not give up until we reach it. She is very flexible and adjusts every lesson based on the practice to get the best out of the lesson. She’s calm and patient, encouraging and always says when something is not right, so I get the right balance of support and criticism which is very important in the learning process. More than a teacher, she’s also a great pianist and I believe that makes a difference: she’s a teacher who plays. We can feel she’s passionate about music and the instrument that she masters. Not only is it always a pleasure to listen to her playing a piece, but also it helps understanding what she’s explaining while talking about the sound we try to produce with the instrument. Sometimes during our lesson she would try to play as I play to force me to listen more and to have a sense of where the problems are. I am not learning piano with her, I am learning how to play music.Sandrine Ribeau, student
I am a high school senior and have been learning piano for almost 11 years. I started taking lessons from Elena only 2.5 years ago. She is calm and patient, and at the same time has continously nudged me forward. Elena really helped me improve my technique and trained me to focus on finer points. I can feel the improvement in quality myself. Also, I had not done a single ABRSM exam prior to starting with Elena but in the two years with her, I have very succesfully passed the highest, Grade 8 ABRSM exam, and now preparing for Diploma in Piano Performance. Here are some of my rectial performances under Elena. I strongly reccomend Elena for piano training.Kushal N.
Although this is a review about Mrs. Elena as a teacher, I think it is fitting to mention how well she plays as a performer. Her sound production is rich, powerful, and delicate. This spills over to her teaching style, she goes over the technicalities, but she emphasizes on interpretation from day one, i.e. with how the music should sound. She has been a wonderful teacher for our son.Johan L.
I am an adult student who has been studying with Elena for two years. She is a wonderful teacher who has helped me to understand music in new ways. I so enjoy my lessons! She has also helped me to choose music that I love and that helps me improve as a pianist. As another review stated, she is also an excellent performer and I have much enjoyed the opportunities to hear her perform.Nancy R.
Elena Levina is intelligent and inquisitive pianist with good creative and detailed ideas. She plays with conviction and thoughtfulness.Timothy Bach, Professor Piano/Accompanying, San Francisco Conservatory