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My solid teacher education comprises:


  • Musical study methodologies with specialization in piano
    (I studied all the world-famous methods, including the French, German and Russian methods),
  • Teacher-trainings (semi-weekly, in piano education and musical subjects, with a professor of pedagogy),
  • Mastery of the teaching repertory, from the beginner’s level to the highest level, and
  • Educational psychology
    (approaches for pupils of various individual psychological profiles).

Finally, because I have lived in numerous international locations, I can instruct my students in several languages.

I am fluent in Russian, French, and Spanish, and also speak English.

I had the great fortune to have Semen Kruchin as my first teacher. He was a virtuoso pianist, and laureate of the most prestigious international piano competitions, such as those of Queen Elisabeth I.

He formed me from the very beginning. He showed me how to place my hands, and led me by teaching me his own concert repertoire.

Starting with my first lesson, he watched over my behavior. He wanted me to feel comfortable,

and to have my hands relaxed. He taught me how to quickly learn scores by heart, how to obtain and how not to have stage fright. Kruchin never tortured me with the exercises of Ganone or by using the etudes of Czerny.

All my technique was directly acquired using Chopin’s etudes and concerts, the sonatas of Mozart and Beethoven, the concerts of Rachmaninov, and the “well tempered clavier” of Bach.

After Kruchin’s departure from the Soviet Union, I had other teachers. Fortunately, among them were none who had never played on stage and who passed all his life in an armchair, lecturing on what should be done and what shouldn’t. Instead, I continued to learn from great concert performers. My professors played for me, demonstrated to me the result that should be obtained, and gave me precise and concrete instructions concerning my individual work at home.

Valery Kastelskiy was my last master while I attended the Highest Moscow State Conservatory Tchaikovsky.

Years before, both my mother and my grandmother had also been my teachers, having worked with me and taught their pupils in my presence.

I teach my students in the same manner I was taught. In my family, I represent the fifth successive generation of musicians and professors of music.



Valery Kastelskiy, piano professor of Moscow State Conservatory Tchaikovsky with my mother, Victoria Mathiesen- Gantchikova, cello professor of the Gnesins' Academy of Music (a state Institution in Moscow, Russian Federation).


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