Hi, my name is Sidorela Risto and I am a piano teacher in Newark, nearby Branch Brook Park. I have taught piano for the past 13 years to children from ages 4 and up, and adults, and am a professional pianist.
I come from fourth generation Beethoven in terms of the technique that I teach (my teacher Ubaldo Diaz-Acosta was a student of Claudio Arrau who studied with Franc Liszt, who studied with Czerny who studied with Beethoven).
Regarding my credentials, I have a Master Degree from Hunter College. I’ve played professionally with orchestras in the past. Last year I participated in the Burgos International Music Festival in Spain where I performed a piano recital. Also I am a teacher associate of Steinway & Sons.
I enjoy seeing children and adults excited about learning music and developing their skills at the pace that they are comfortable with.
Able to read music
Student has instrument
Interested musical styles
Photos and videos
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
In the first lesson, I assess a student's connection to rhythm, sound, and will start teaching the notes and techniques, and more importantly learn about what they love. I provide personalized one-on-one instruction, focusing on theory, playing music and even composing. The goal is to keep students enthusiastic about music while teaching them how to play in a relaxed manner, focusing on techniques that are proven to achieve relaxation of hand. Students also develop their unique sound. I want my teaching to resonate with students so that they retain the concepts that they learn.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Regarding my credentials, I have a Master Degree from Hunter College. I’ve played professionally with orchestras in the past. Last year I participated in the Burgos International Music Festival in Spain where I performed a piano recital. Also I am a teacher associate of Steinways & Sons, and taught for a few years at the Performing Arts Conservatory of New York.
I come from fifth generation Beethoven in terms of the technique that I teach (my teacher Ubaldo Diaz-Acosta was a student of Claudio Arrau who studied with Franz Liszt, who studied with Czerny who studied with Beethoven).
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
I discuss the fee during the first free session. Currently I charge $30 for 30 minutes, $40 for 40 minutes or $60 for an hour. The length of lesson is recommended after assessing the student.
How did you get started teaching?
I started teaching personalized piano to kids three through 12 at the Performing Arts Conservatory of New York in 2005 and loved seeing them blossom under music. I also taught music theory and music history to grades 6 through 8 in private schools.
What types of students have you worked with?
I have worked with a wide range of ages. Currently my students range from 4 years old to 84 years old. I gear my lessons to mirror the student's interests and make music applicable to their experience. Students I've worked with blossom in their confidence and skills.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
Last year my ten students performed a recital, where they got recognized with awards and certificates. It was amazing to see their enthusiasm and sense of accomplishment.
Personal event that I am fond of is my personal piano recital in Spain at the Burgos International Music Festival. Performing with other professional musicians in Spain is an experience I'll never forget.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
It is improtant to connect with the teacher, and to trust that they can help you not only strive in piano but that they can encourage you to gain confidence and life skills. Get a teacher that will celebrate your uniqueness and passions, and will help you grow.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
What do you want to achieve by playing piano? What is your dream? How do you connect with music, or why is it special to you?