I am a professional pianist and piano teacher. I graduated from a music collage and conservatory in Ukraine. After graduation, I taught in a music school in Ukraine for 19 years and worked as an accompanist for children's choirs, instrumental and vocal soloists. Many of my students won city competitions, participated in state competitions.
My family immigrated to the US in March of 1995. After immigration and until December 2016, I lived in Syracuse, NY, and worked as an accompanist at the Syracuse University Drama Department. During all that time, I also had a private piano studio for beginners, intermediate, and advanced level students, including adult students. My classes had recitals twice a year. For many years I was a member of Central New York Music Teachers Association (CNYMTA), and my students took part in recitals and competitions organized by the Association. Finally, I developed "First Step, First Sound, First Phrase" - an original teaching method for beginners, which I use regularly in my teaching and which you can find on my website at www.firststepfirstsoundfirstphrase.com.
Piano is a unique subject for children to learn. We want our children be well- rounded: educated,self discipline, organized, artistic, spiritual and sensitive. Studying the piano can cultivate all of these qualities in students.
From the very first lessons, a student must be taught some basics of music science- music theory. Later, some basics of harmony, music forms, polyphony. Knowledge of music history will explain the stylistic differences between composers, whose music was written in " musical language " of their time. Familiarity and working knowlage of the artistic and spiritual side of piano piece will form a student's aesthetic taste, appreciate the beauty of music. To be persistent in portraying this beauty, a student has to be well equipped with piano technique skills. Coordination between physical, intellectual, and artistic tasks will challenge and develop self control,self- discipline, and organization.
It's a very creative and challenging for me as a teacher process, and I'm very passionate about it!
Bella was my son's first piano teacher in Syracuse. The progress that he made during his two years with Bella as a teacher far exceeded any expectations I had and demonstrated to me what a wonderful teacher she is. Not only did my son grow as a piano player he gained more confidence in himself. Playing and practicing the piano was not a chore but rather an activity he performed happily. Bella put her enthusiasm and love of playing the piano onto my son. Rather than work directly from a piano lesson book, she would play different pieces of music and allow him to choose what he wanted to learn. She customized lessons to his current skill level while at the same time providing challenges to keep the learning process going. Bella was very proud of each and every student as was evident during recitals. Each student, regardless of their level of knowledge, performed their piano piece with excitement and enthusiasm. It was evident that Bella encouraged each student to bring part of his or her own character into the music. Bella is not only friendly and patient, but also is good at gauging her students's level of knowledge and ability. Bella sees each student as an individual and draws upon their strengths to teach them in ways that work best for them. Bella is a very positive and encouraging teacher who is able to make confident self-motivated piano players out her students. We would like to say Bella is the best piano teacher in Syracuse!! I believe her future students who can experience her contagious passion and love of music first hand.
It is great pleasure to share my experience here. Ms Bella is my son - Eric's first piano teacher. Eric took piano lessons with Bella beginning September 2013 and he stayed with Ms. Bella ever since until she left Syracuse in December 2016. Ms Bella is good at teaching her students according to their levels of knowledge and ability. She not only taught the basic skills and emphasizing on scales and fingering, but she also focused on the dynamics, on how to bring color to the music piece. She was also able to impart her enthusiasm and love of playing the piano onto Eric. Rather than working directly from a piano lesson book, she would select and play difference pieces of music to allow Eric to choose what he wants to learn. She also encouraged Eric to find out more about the composer of the music he played. By doing so, Eric became more interested in practicing and playing piano. Ms. Bella is friendly and patient. She would praise Eric's accomplishments and acknowledge each newly learned measure of music. She was very proud of each student and was evident during recitals that were held twice a year. Ms. Bella plays an important role in fostering Eric's interest in music. It also helped him to learn other music instrument with the greatest of ease. I respect Ms. Bella for many of her qualities. I highly recommend her as a piano teacher and I am envious of her future students who can experience her passion and love of music.
Bella Beletsky-Shik was recommended as a piano teacher for my seven-year-old daughter by a friend whose own child was studying piano. From our first meeting with Bella, it was clear that we had found a teacher who loved to teach, and who cared about her students and their musical growth. After the first student recital, where my daughter took her turn along with all of Bella’s other students, it was crystal clear that Ms. Beletsky not only loved to teach, but really knew how. Her students, from the least experienced to the most, all played not just accurately, but with emotional content and understanding of the music, even if some of the kids didn’t realize it themselves. And this was true of (practically) all of the many students that I had the privilege to watch at the semi-annual recitals over the ten years that my daughter was lucky enough to study with Bella. Besides the recitals, I got to spend nearly an hour each week observing Bella systematically teaching my daughter increasingly sophisticated skills of the many sorts that are necessary for success in music and just about anything else – mechanical skills, listening (to the music and the teacher), observational skills, the importance of practice and how to practice, how to break complex problems down into conquerable pieces. Bella not only taught my daughter the piano, but music and structure in music – how the notes are just incidental to the phrases, and the phrases just sentences in the story. I almost feel like one of her students myself, except I never touched the piano. My daughter could not have been more fortunate than she was having had Bella in her life in this way.
The most incredible piano teacher we ever met. Both of my children were her students. How different they are and how good she found a key for each of them. She is very professional, intelligent and very experienced teacher. How happy we were having her as a teacher.
Each student is different, and my approaches is carefully tailored to each student in accordance with his/her personality and ability. Generally, my goal as a teacher for beginners or new students of any level is to give him or her set of basic and reliable piano playing skills (which empowers the student's artistry and creativity).
For young beginners, I developed an original method "First Step, First Sound, First Phrase" ( www.firststepfirstsoundfirstphrase.com) .
For intermediate and advanced level students, I concentrate on their individual abilities, fixing errors in technique, preferences in repertoire, and building strategy of their future development.
Please see my CV detailing over 40 years of piano instruction experience.
7707 Hidden Meadow Terrace
Potomac, MD 20854
(315) 382-71847 / [email protected]
Over 40 years of piano teaching experience with students all ages and levels, including adults students. An accompanist for soloists, choirs, and ballet classes
Syracuse UniversitySyracuse, NY
Accompanist, Drama Department 1996 - 2016
• Developed, arranged and provided piano accompaniment for ballet, jazz, tap, and vocal classes, including master classes
• Arranged music for Dance Lab performances
Piano Teacher Syracuse, NY
• Taught students, developing individual repertoire in accordance with each student’s abilities, preferences and goals for their future artistic and technical development. Organized class recitals twice a year
• Member of the Central New York Music Teachers Association
• Prepared students for recitals and regional competitions. Many students won regional competitions
Music School No. 2Zaporozhye, Ukraine
Piano Teacher 1976 – 1995
• Taught students age 6-16, accompanied vocal soloists, choirs, ensembles and orchestras. Prepared students for competitions.Many students won city and county competitions and took part in state competitions
• Provided accompaniment and taught piano at Syracuse Children’s Chorus, Hebrew Day School in DeWitt, NY, Banff Private School in Houston, TX, Metropolitan School of Music in Syracuse, NY, and many other organizations
METHOD AND PUBLICATION
• Individual approach to each student , which leads to successful development of the student’s technique and artistic abilities. Special attention to the fundamental role of beginning stage of learning the piano
• Author of First Step, First Sound, First Phrase, an original method of teaching young beginners
Conservatory of Kiev (at Donetsk)
Master’s Degree, 1983
Zaporozhye Music College
Degree in piano instruction, 1976
Traditionally, I charge $110 for one hour private piano lessons.
I started teaching piano after finishing my degree in music in college and conservatory.
I taught many types of students. I taught young beginners, intermediate, advanced students, adult students. Many of my students were winners of city and county competitions, many became professional musicians. Some of my students are professionals in different areas but keep taking private lessons, having the piano playing as a hobby for life.
A student should consider what he or she wants from these lessons, in other words, at what level do they want to play the piano? They should consider whether they want to play just a couple songs, some pop favorites, or do they want to reach a level of playing pieces by Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin. The latter choice would take much more sophisticated piano skills, much more work, and a more experienced and educated teacher.
Same as above. At what level would a student want to play the piano?