Category: Events


An inspirational Holistic Day for Pianists with Melanie Spanswick, myself and our students

July 24th, 2017 — 2:26pm
GéNIA teachers Piano-Yoga® at Holistic Day for Pianists in London

GéNIA teachers Piano-Yoga® at Holistic Day for Pianists in London

This is just a little blog entry from me about the Holistic Day, that I led with renowned educator, blogger and teacher Melanie Spanswick recently in London. I wanted to share with you how wonderful it was to spend the whole day concentrating on Piano-Yoga® and other aspects of piano playing and technique. Melanie’s talks were inspiring; she offered wonderful tips on memorisation and sight-reading, making students practise various things there and then.

I offered a slightly different approach, concentrating on how to obtain the best energy, so you can get the best our of your practice and/or a performance, especially when you were tired or, opposite, too excited to concentrate. Through the various exercises and talks about different energy states, we spent a wonderful afternoon exploring. I concluded my part of the day by going through the details of each stage of my book ‘Piano-Yoga® Transform Your Hands’: 10 Week Course of Piano Exercises.

We had a wonderful variety of students, which included amateur pianists, piano teachers and professional music students.

The atmosphere of Jaque Samuel Pianos, was equally inspiring; we were surrounded by at least 100 pianos and had 4 Fazioli grand pianos in our studio, where we taught.

Melanie Spanwick teaches Sight-Reading Class at Holistic Day for Pianists

Melanie Spanwick teaches Sight-Reading Class at Holistic Day for Pianists in London

The students were very receptive and eager and after the day we received wonderful comments such as ‘A most inspiring duette with many useful tips’ from Edi and ‘One of the most interesting days in my life. Thank you so much!’ from Charles.

We look forward to bringing you more events and if you’d like to invite us to come to your area with the Holistic Day Programme please do not hesitate to get in touch!

With love,

GéNIA

 

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Why Body Work is so important for musicians

July 5th, 2017 — 9:59am
Pianist GéNIA demonstrating yoga exercises for pianists

Pianist GéNIA demonstrating yoga exercises for pianists

Every professional musician knows the drill: if you want to be good you need to practise. For classical musicians there are many hours of strict practice required, for jazz and other musicians there is a different kind of practice, but in any case, you always need to practise more rather not less. Talking about  technique, which is best developed when we are children, if you want to be good, you are encouraged to practice at least three to four hours when you are a child, with a gradual increase in hours as you get older, especially if playing piano has the potential to become your profession.

 

I personally studied at the School for Gifted Children in the Ukraine, then at the Music Conservatoire (Kharkov State institute of Arts), before embarking on Postgraduate Studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and finally a Masters Degree at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire. Throughout all these years, I have been encouraged to practice as much as possible, sometimes up to 8 hours a day. It was not surprising that at the age of 15 I suffered muscular tension due to over-practising. What was astounding was that, at no point during my entire studies, was I ever advised on how to look after my body in order to avoid over-practising (meaning over-using it) nor taught how to practise efficiently; how to avoid strain whilst keeping my body relaxed.

By my early 20th, I found myself suffering from  chronic back-pain, and was forced to see a back specialist on a regular basis. After about six months of such visits, I realised that this could not go on. I had to learn how to start caring for my body in order to stop having to see a doctor, as I was became addicted to these visits.

 

This is when I started to explore. It was suggested I should try yoga, and after the first few sessions I got ‘hooked’. Yoga allowed me not only to get rid of my pain, but I noticed that my body slowly started to transform, my muscles became leaner and I even felt taller!

 

Additionally, I noticed that, apart from fixing my back problems, yoga was really good for my piano playing: my fingers became stronger and the challenge of playing larger chords became less of an issue. Following this discovery, I deliberately started incorporating yoga stretches into my practice routine. It felt great; I felt refreshed and balanced.

 

The following year I was faced with the challenge of performing Rachmaninoff ‘Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini’, which I had been told by my teachers, I would never be able to play. I loved this piece and felt that I could play it, so I was determined to do everything possible to master this piece.

All I needed was to find a specific programme or a set of exercises that would develop my hands. After extensive research and trying out various exercises, I realised that what I was looking for was not available, and if I wanted to work on my hands, I would need to create this programme myself. Starting with various experiments, I came to the conclusion that the answer was … in my yoga practice. By trial and error I created the piano-yoga exercises that helped me to master this piece, and this is how Piano-Yoga® was conceived.

 

So what is Piano-Yoga®? It is a method of piano teaching, performing and playing available to musicians of all levels, amateurs and professionals, from beginners to advanced. The more advanced you are, the more you can benefit from it. One of the aspects of Piano-Yoga® method is ‘body discipline’, teaching those who play and practise for more then an hour a day to take care of their body by showing how to use it in their playing as well as how to relax at specific times and how to prevent injuries. Alexander technique offers wonderful teaching that covers some of these aspects, but Piano-Yoga® offers something different; firstly precise work on hands and arms in order to increase the strength of fingers and hand span, secondly, the discipline of taking care of the body on a regular basis, thirdly, various tips on piano playing established through body work and finally prevention and /or post injury rehabilitation programme. By incorporating the ancient yoga teaching, the method aims to create a feeling of well-being on a physical, emotional and intellectual level. For those following  spiritual practices, it offers something as well. It is up to the student to take as much or as little from Piano-Yoga® as he or she wants.

 

Holistic-Banner-Genia_Melanie

The main message of this article though, is that playing piano for more then an hour a day inflicts demands on your body and, if are regularly doing this, you must know how to take care of it in order to avoid an injury or a simple back pain and get rid of stagnation in your body, as sitting for a long time is not good for our health.

I hope that you find my story helpful and if you have any questions I will be happy to hear from you via info@piano-yoga.com.

with love,

GéNIA

GéNIA, the pianist and composer and founder of Piano-Yoga®, will be demonstrating the main principals of Piano-Yoga® teaching on Holistic day for pianists in London on the 16th of July, in the event created in collaboration with the renown educator, blogger, pianist and author Melanie Spanswick. Please follow the link to see more details.

 

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Holistic Day for Pianists with Melanie Spanswick & GéNIA in London on Sunday 16 July 2017

May 18th, 2017 — 4:02pm

Following numerous requests, we are delighted to announce Holistic Day for Pianists, which the founder of Piano-Yoga® GéNIA will be bringing to you together with the pianist, educator, composer, author and judicator Melanie Spanswick.

Melanie and GéNIA met in 2012, and immediately recognised their shared beliefs; helping piano students to realise their true potential by offering holistic technical and musical guidance, and thereby encouraging a different approach to piano playing. Subsequent workshops and projects have followed, and now we are delighted to present a complete holistic piano day which will explore several important elements; incorporating the physical flexibility and relaxation techniques employed in Piano-Yoga® with the mental mindfulness required in memorisation and sight-reading.

Holistic Day for Pianists is an exciting all-day event for amateur pianists, music students, piano teachers and young musicians from the age of 13. For the schedule of the day, further information and to find out how to book please visit our website or click on the poster below.

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Congratulations to Lila Erol, a pupil of GéNIA, for winning The Junior School of the Year award!

March 28th, 2017 — 3:26pm

Lila Erol

We were delighted to find out that GéNIA’s student, Lila Erol, was awarded The Junior School of the Year 2017 award from Francis Holland School, Sloane Square.

The award was given as a result of the Funny Davies competition, with over 130 solo and ensemble performances. Amongst the performances were traditional Greek song, a Russian march, native American music, a French lullaby, Italian opera and Spanish dances. The girls also covered just about every musical genre – ancient plainsong, a Baroque concerto, Romantic piano music, film music, Jazz and Blues, musical theatre and even had a rock band!

Funny Davies Award

Funny Davies Award

The Junior School Musician of the Year 2017 shield was awarded to Lila Erol, in Year 6, who moved her audience with her mature, sensitive and and technically assured rendition of Frédéric Chopin’s ‘Prelude in E minor’ op.28, no. 4.

We are delighted here at Piano-Yoga®, and look forward to more performances from this talented young lady!

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Pupil of Piano-Yoga® wins Trophy from Woodely Festival as the most promising performer!

April 28th, 2016 — 2:33pm

WoodelyFestTropheyCongratulations to Catherine Lieben, a student of Piano-Yoga® and a pupil of GéNIA, for winning the Wendy Wilson Trophy from the Woodely Festival of Music and Arts 2016. The trophy is awarded to the most promising performer in the adult class. Catherine was performing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in B minor, Op.32 No. 10.

Catherine has been studying with GéNIA for over five years and regularly takes part in many music festivals across the UK.

For more information on the Festival please see their website www.woodelyfestival.org.uk

The next Piano-Yoga® students’ concert will take place on the 23d of July 2016 at Schott Music, 48 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7BB at 6:30pm. At the concert there will be an opportunity to listen to many students studying the Piano-Yoga®method, including Catherine Lieben, and meet them after the concert.

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

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Piano-Yoga® founder GéNIA’s Show at St James Theatre London Just Announced

February 17th, 2016 — 2:27pm

GéNIA’s latest project, the single released especially for Valentine’s Day, features a classical piano arrangement of  ‘Someone Like You’ by Adele and takes it to a global classical audience.

GéNIA will hosting a show at St James Theatre London premiering ‘Someone Like You’ and play many of her own works intertwined with well-known classics.

Tickets available shortly

“…one to watch…”

The Observer, UK

 

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Very Successful Piano Concert of Piano-Yoga® Students!

December 14th, 2015 — 10:19pm

SubstandardFullSizeRenderWe had a fantastic concert of GéNIA’s students at Piano-Yoga® School (Concert No 22!)  last weekend. Students ranged from age 7 to over 60 and the programme included works by JS. Bach, F. Chopin, F. Poulenc, M. Ponce, A. Ginastera, C. Debussy (Petite Suite for 4 Hands) and S Rachmaninoff (Suite No.2 for Two Pianos).

GéNIA also took part and Premiered her composition for solo piano ‘Midnight Dream’.

As usual the party at Schott Music Hall continued with the afterparty at one of the beautiful French restaurants in Soho. The students and their guests had a great time!

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Regular bi-annual concerts became a great tradition at Piano-Yoga® School, as GéNIA believes that through public performance one can really learn the piece. ‘You usually need to perform the piece up to five times in public, before you can confidently say that you have learned it.’ says GéNIA.

 

 

FullSizeRender-2Now we are looking forward to a fresh start in 2016 and the next concert scheduled for June!

The concerts provide an excellent platform not only for learning the pieces, but also for practising to perform before important exams and other performances. Our guests usually come from all walks of life ( sometimes literally people who are wandering in the shop at that moment) and it gives students a fantastic incentive and feeling of achievement.

Piano-Yoga School Students ConcertIf you would like to become a student at Piano-Yoga®, you are welcome to visit our concerts or simply send us an email to arrange a consolation for you.

 

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Piano-Yoga® Club Launch in London!

August 14th, 2015 — 2:27pm

2nd-September-Newsletter-Picture-Larger

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GéNIA Talks on BBC LONDON 94.9 Radio about The Piano-Yoga® Club

August 5th, 2015 — 7:17am
GéNIA talks to Jo Good on her show at BBC London Radio 94.9

GéNIA talks to Jo Good on her show at BBC London Radio 94.9

GéNIA was a guest on Jo Good Show at BBC London  94.9 Radio on Tuesday, the 4th of August, where she talked in details about the launch of  the Piano-Yoga® Club, what to expect, who is it for and when it will start. If you are considering of joining the Club this interview will give you a great insight (starts from 1:07): LISTEN HERE 

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Piano-Yoga® London Club – every first Wednesday of the month!

July 17th, 2015 — 6:00am

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Due to popular demand, we are delighted to announce the launch of the Piano-Yoga® Club in London! The Club will give an opportunity to learn in-depth about the Piano-Yoga® method, and get advice directly from its creator, concert pianist and composer, GéNIA. Taking place in a heart of London at one of the oldest sheet music stores, Schott Music, the Club will take place on the first Wednesday of every month, starting from September 2015, 7pm until 8:15pm.

The activity of the Club will involve practical exercises tailored for pianists, together with a short presentation by GéNIA (please see the topic schedule), followed by a Q&A session. If you would like to find out more about piano technique, learn strategies for efficient practice, get tips on dealing with stage fright or learn how to keep relaxed during your practice, the Club will give you this opportunity.

Piano-Yoga® method is based on a synergy between the Russian School of Piano Playing and Eastern Philosophies, especially Yoga, and is suitable for professional musicians and amateurs. Whether you are an advanced pianist, teacher or just starting out, Piano-Yoga® has something to offer to everyone. The more advanced you are, the more you can benefit from the method.

We believe that with our simple and holistic approach, which takes into consideration an individual’s physical, psychological and energetic state, one can learn faster and more easily. Everyone is unique, and Piano-Yoga® takes this into account, by teaching you how to learn through utilising your strength, while gently working on strengthening your weaknesses. Whether you have tight shoulders, tension in your arms, rhythm problems, performance nerves or an inability to organise your piano practice efficiently, Piano-Yoga® can offer a variety of solutions, and teach you how to take charge of your own progress.

Attracting like-minded people, we believe that the Piano-Yoga® Club will be a great place for interactive, creative and non-competitive music making. We are looking forward to meeting you there!

Schedule:
2 September 2015: Why we believe in the efficiency of Piano-Yoga® method
7 October 2015: Why relaxation is so important and so good for you
4 November 2015: How to make adrenaline your best friend!
2 December 2015: Transforming concentration in 5 easy steps
6 January 2016: A simple formula for efficient practice
3 February 2016: How your attitude can dramatically influence your playing and win over your audience
2 March 2016: Why Piano-Yoga® chooses exercise with straight fingers
6 April 2016: How correct handling of shoulders can transform your playing
4 May 2016: How to match your practice to your energetic state
1 June 2016: Utilising your body in piano playing
6 July 2016: Topic to be chosen by participants’ suggestions

Time: 7:00-8:15pm

Location: Schott Music Shop, 48 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7BB

Who will best benefit: Intermediate & advanced pianists, professional musicians & teachers.

Practical Advice: you are welcome to ask as many questions as the time allows; be prepared to take your shoes off for a full Piano-Yoga® experience and to play either a whole composition or a part of it on a day (maximum 5 minutes). Please tell us about your wish to play at the beginning of the evening, and we will do our best to schedule you in, although we apologise in advance, as we cannot guarantee it due to the number of requests we may receive.

Fees: £25 ticket per one visit to the club; £120 – pass for 6 visits to the club, valid for one year until September 2016 (£20 per club), £187 pass for the whole year (£17 per club)

Tickets can be purchased HERE in advance via PayPal, telephone or online banking, or on the day via credit or debit-card or cash.

Contact:
e: info@piano-yoga.com
t: +44 (0) 20 7226 9829

‘It really does work . . . Many pianists have been helped with this unorthodox and unusual method.’ Piano Professional

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