Interview with Natalia Tolmachova
International Musical School
GO2KIEV: Tell us about your musical school?
The International Musical School provides an opportunity to discover and realize creative abilities whether you are a youngster who is interested in studying music for the first time, an adult lover of music who is looking to explore the beauty of an instrument, or an experienced musician looking to raise your ability to a higher level.
GO2KIEV: Why did you open the Inter -national Musical School?
For many years I had the idea to open a private school because I was dissatisfied with the Ukrainian public school’s outdated music education for children who are only taught between the ages of 6 to 10 years. This old method of teaching, which dates back to at least 50 years, is when a child studies music theory for only one classical composition and simply plays that one musical piece as their main music education. Students become easily bored and instruction becomes stale and no longer fresh. Plus, we offer flexibility and can teach students both at home and at the school.
GO2KIEV: How does your school’s teaching method differ?
We offer a modern teaching method for young children (as young as 3 years old) which is based on the same principles used when learning a language – listening, imitating, and repeating. This allows one to focus on ear-training, producing a beautiful tone and good instrument technique. Students are first taught basic listening and playing skills before note reading is introduced, exactly the same way children learn to speak and comprehend before they read.
GO2KIEV: How does this relate to different genres of music?
As mentioned, this modern method of teaching does not involve playing ‘note by note’ but rather playing by ‘ear’. This parallel beautifully orchestrates the knowledge of music through which the study of notes is learned by ear. Nowadays, modern music is almost always played by ear with electronically based instruments. Kids develop their knowledge of music quicker because they are combining melody, fantasy, composition and creativity.
GO2KIEV: Tell us about the different types of musical instruments one can learn to play?
We offer the instruction of both contemporary and classically oriented musical instruments. Contemporary instruments range from the digital piano and synthesizer; the acoustic and electric guitar; and the bass guitar. Traditional instruments include the piano, drums, saxophone and trumpet. Usually teenagers want to learn how to play rock and pop music with electronic and digital instruments but after this introductory period they become interested in the elements of classical music. When they study more than a couple of years they have the desire and ability to take on historical and musical compositions; such as, Bach and Mozart. Students of all ages, abilities, and levels experience the excitement and satisfaction that comes with full understanding and performance of great works of music.
GO2KIEV: What about voice classes?
Vocal instruction initially focuses on proper breathing for many of the novice students are quite confident in their vocal techniques. When students learn the necessity of proper breathing their vocal abilities broaden and they are able to learn and change their choice of music to include folk, jazz, pop and classical pieces. There is a distinct change in their tone, timbre, and color of voice. Our school’s voice department introduces the fundamentals of breathing, diaphragm control, correct posture, good vocal support and diction in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. Classical voice involves the study of Russian, German and French music in the original language.
GO2KIEV: Do you offer classes for very young children?
Absolutely yes! We have class that offers both music and movement where our teachers will introduce simple musical instruments; such as, the maracas, triangle bell, xylophone and more. It’s a full multi-sensory class where children think, listen and move to music. Our class has two teachers who work as a team to introduce music in the form of a game which turns into a magical world of art. This class helps to build self-confidence, motor skills, and language development and it is a great choice for the child that loves music but is not ready for formal private instruction.
GO2KIEV: Tell us about the school’s teachers?
The International Musical School’s faculty is of qualified and talented performers and teachers with concert and pedagogical experience. The school’s main teaching languages are Russian and Ukrainian but we can also tutor in English. Our teachers are dedicated and passionate about their art and teaching. They bring warmth, energy, enthusiasm and patience in working with children as well as adults. Our teachers understand that each pupil is an individual and that it is very important to build trust. Please note that our school provides a diploma certificate for the piano after 7 years of study and a diploma certificate for vocal, guitar and drums after 5 years of study. All diplomas are recognized in Ukraine.
GO2KIEV: When and how can the students perform?
Student recital performances are held twice a year that is watched by family members and friends. There are approximately 45 students who perform which include the youngest to the oldest in years. The recitals give students an opportunity to present music that has been mastered in lessons. This experience enables students to gain feedback from their peers, feel more comfortable with performing and develop confident stage presence.
International Musical School
Address central office school: Delegatkiy pereulok, 5-B, 2 floor
(metro station Lukyanovskya)
Phone / fax: 489-5673 Mobile: 8067-234-5869