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About Athanasia K.
Athanasia is a composer and pianist based in Manchester, originally from Greece. Last summer, she completed her Master's in Composition at the Royal Northern College of Music. In 2017 she obtained a Diploma in Piano Performance from the Dimitris Demopoulos Music School, in Kozani, Greece.
Athanasia is passionate about teaching as she feels it as her obligation to give back some of the knowledge she has received from her own music teachers! She also finds teaching to be a stimulating experience, and loves learning from her own students. She believes that learning is a never-ending process for a musician, and hopes to spend her life playing, writing, and learning more about music!
Teaching in Piano
Athanasia teaches piano from beginners to Grade 8. All ages welcome! She believes in teaching in a way that encourages and emphasises every student's musical strong suits; everyone has their own musical personality and the role of a teacher is to bring that out and facilitate the student's own personal growth.
Athanasia's priority, especially for beginner students, is to make sure they are on firm grounds with technique, music theory and music-reading skills. However, she is always careful not to inhibit the student’s natural musicality with an overload of technical information; balance between musicality and technique is key. She is also in favour of introducing sight-reading quite early on, as she thinks that the earlier a student takes it up, the easier and less daunting it will be for them in the long run.
Athanasia is also enthusiastic about introducing her piano students to improvisation. She finds that it is a good activity especially for younger students, as it helps establish a more intuitive, natural relationship with the instrument. Not to mention it is very fun!
A typical lesson would begin with the student performing the work(s)/study(s) they have been working on for the past week. Then Athanasia will make some comments, and together student and teacher work on improving the performance, in terms of technical problems, reading difficulties and musicality. Depending on the duration of the lesson, there might also be a short sight-reading and an improvisation session. At the end of the lesson, the new goal for the week will be set.
Athanasia specialises in classical music, but can also teach beginner level in pop/rock genres.
In the first piano lesson, Athanasia likes to have a chat with the new student. She introduces herself, and asks the student to speak about themselves. She is also interested to know more about their musical background (if any), and the reasons why they want to take up piano. It is important for Athanasia to know from the start what the student's intentions are, i.e. if it is a hobby for them, if they have professional aspirations, or if they are not sure yet! She then usually introduces the student to some basic knowledge on the structure of the piano, such as the sound- producing mechanism, the names of the parts etc; the piano is quite a complex, big instrument and can look quite daunting, so a bit of familiarity with it helps start things off. The rest of the content of the first lesson would depend on the level and age of the student.
Athanasia will provide the material for the first lesson, so beginners do not need to bring anything.
When starting a new activity, it always takes a bit of time to feel familiarity. For the first few lessons, Athanasia will follow the pace that the new student will be comfortable with. It is important to remember that in music we are all learners, and any beginner should feel as if they have just taken their first step in an exciting long journey!