Testimonials

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“I started lessons with Margarita Zelenaia merely wanting to learn to play the piano, but within a short time of being taught by her I knew  that I wanted to pursue music as a career.
Margarita has two extremely important and positive qualities as a teacher that are rarely found together. First, she knows what a  student needs. She can spend time with a student and realize what areas of technique and training they have not yet developed and she  knows how best to help them to develop in these areas. I was an unconventional student with very specific strengths and weaknesses,  and she was sensitive and flexible in designing exactly the kind of course of study I needed. Second, she also knows how to help a student  do what he or she wants. Such is the breadth of her knowledge that no matter what branch of musical learning I wanted to tackle  (performance, theory, composition, ear-training, etc.) and no matter what genre of music I was interested in (classical, jazz, pop, etc.),  she always had the expertise and the willingness to teach it to me. And so, my course of study with her was guided not only by what I  needed to become a better musician, but also by what kind of musician I wanted to become.
I am now applying to a PhD program in order to pursue a career as a musicologist. I would not be on this path now were it not for my time  spent with her.”

John Lawrence

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Students who study piano with Margarita Zelenaia are fortunate indeed.  Whether teaching the beginner or the advanced student, Margarita uses her background as a performer and composer to help her students develop a solid foundation in piano technique and musicianship.  She has great patience and a wonderful ability to help the struggling student master difficult passages by clearly explaining the underlying structure of the passage and then guiding the student through each step of the practice process.  Margarita’s great strength as a teacher lies in her ability to help students interpret a broad repertoire of musical styles.  Once again, Margarita teaches and then guides the student to analyze text structure, identify themes and appreciate the importance of passage phrasing and melodic line in shaping performance.  It is a privilege to recommend Margarita Zelenaia to anyone seeking excellence.  Her sensitivity to both the needs of the student and the intent of the composer raises her to the highest rank of piano teacher.

Gail Leibell

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Dear Margarita,
We cannot thank you enough for all you have done for John, all he has leanrt, your encouragement, how you broadened his taste and horizons, and the skills you have developed. A simple email cannot express it!

Peter L.

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Dear Margarita,
It is a great tribute to you that Andy sees himself as a musician and said that wherever he lives in the future he would get hold of a piano to play.  He also said he loves playing (also thanks to you!) and does not intend to stop.  I think Andy deeply appreciates what you have given him and will understand this better as he matures.

Natalie C.

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Margarita,
Many thanks to a special teacher! Thank you for a great year of music!

Evan Dodes (13 y.o.)

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Dear Margarita,
Thank you for being a wonderful piano teacher. You helped us accomplish many things and learn new styles of music. Have an amazing summer!

Your students Hannah and David Barenboim

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Margarita’s joy for musical expression is contagious, in each lesson her remarkable talent and passion instil a renewed commitment and a deep appreciation for the wonders of musical experience.

Student and father of two students

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After taking 3 years of piano lessons, my son Evan started with a new teacher last year- Margarita. From the beginning, Margarita challenged him to learn new techniques, to be focused and disciplined and to play with expression! Evan made huge strides in his year of lessons with her; he even agreed to take some lessons over the summer! Margarita is always dependable, always on time and always arrives with a smile on her face. Evan even learned a little Russian from her! We are looking forward to another year of learning and musical growth with Margarita!

Cyndi Dodes

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Some people have the gift of teaching – they can excite, inspire, motivate and provide unique visions of what could be. Margarita Zelenaia is such a teacher. Margarita has been my teacher and friend for 12 years. Over the years, with Margarita’s help, I have learned to play the piano for myself. What does that mean? For starters, I am comfortable with my abilities and can feel great joy playing the piano even though I do not anticipate playing at Carnegie Hall. Margarita can figure out how to teach a passage (or other musical mystery) unique to each student’s capabilities. If you don’t get it one way, she will find another way including changing the fingering, mental exercises, clapping, snapping your fingers and swaying to the music. I have never experienced anything in a lesson with Margarita but her utmost desire to help me produce the needed result. Margarita is always there to guide and encourage even when I don’t practice and struggle with the music. When I am too busy to practice Margarita will sit down and say “Ok, we will use the lesson to practice”. I am grateful to know Margarita as an exceptional musician, composer, and performer as well as a wonderful teacher (and friend).

Beth Berman