Elza’s Tribute to her Russian Piano Teacher

Hello students, parents, teachers, and music lovers! As a piano pedagogy expert, I am convinced that a great performer does not mean automatically a great teacher.  (Pedagogy / pɛdəɡɒdʒi / pɛdəɡoʊdʒi is  the science and art of education.) People often think that a good performer will be a good teacher, but that’s not the case always.  Of course, there are exceptions. One of the greatest exceptions is my Russian piano teacher and mentor, Dr. Vera Nosina at the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music.

Teacher Dr. Vera Nosina

She is the best on both teaching and performing arts. She performs stunningly still, being at age 70. In five great years,  Dr. Nosina generously shared with me all her teaching and performing skills, which are golden. I received as much knowledge from her as from text books and lectures on pedagogy from both of the colleges I graduated from. I never will find enough words to express my gratitude to Dr. Nosina. Because of her, I somehow  became exceptional, too. ☺ I love to perform as much as I love to teach and suspect I am doing pretty well.

piano teacher Vera Nosina and student
Dr. Vera Nosina came to visit Elza in America in 2008. She is seen here working with one of Elza’s students in a master class.

I will like to share the experience of Professor Nosina  in the following paragraphs.

Several years ago, the Dean of Piano Department in Gnessin Russian Academy of Music had to apologize to Dr. Nosina. All student who made audition and were selected by committee for admissions applied to study with Dr. Nosina! It simply showed how outstanding instructor, musician, and person she was. All applicants were eager
to study only with her. The Dean really felt bad for other professors and asked Dr. Nosina, a senior professor, if it was OK with her that other professors, who are also wonderful musicians and great teachers, will teach students who actually applied to study with Dr. Nosina.

Gnessin Russian Academy of Music

Story of Professor Nosina will be incomplete without discussing some history of my wonderful Gnessin Russian Academy of Music (Российская академия музыки имени Гнесиных). It’s the world renowned college where I have graduated with Masters in Piano Performance and Pedagogy. My favorite Professor Nosina is still teaching there. And now my former student Marley Saito is there studying for Masters with Dr. Nosina!

photo of Gnessin State Musical College
The Gnessin State Musical College and Gnessin Russian Academy of Music is a prominent music school in Moscow, Russia. Elza Ritter got her Masters in Piano Pedagogy and Performance here. She was a student of Russian piano teacher Dr. Vera Nosina.

The Gnessin Russian Academy of Music  is a state institution in Moscow, Russian Federation. Originally known as State Music pedagogical Institute after Gnessin, it was established as a private college of music on February 15, 1895 by three sisters:  Evgenia Fabianovna, Elena Fabianovna, and Maria Fabianovna Gnessin. Each of the Gnessin sisters had studied piano and graduated with distinction from the Moscow Conservatory. Their brother, Mikhail Fabianovich Gnessin, was a outstanding composer and teacher who later served (1945-1957) as head of Gnessin State Musical College. Two other sisters also dedicated their lives to pedagogy and were dedicated to teaching at Gnessin Music School. The college quickly became, and remains, an elite music institution.  Source: Wikipedia – Gnessin State Musical College (where you can also see Elza’s name listed as an Alumna).

There are four schools of the Gnessin’s :

  1. Elementary School
  2. Complete 10-years of Primary School
  3. Secondary School (college)
  4.  The Academy with post graduate courses.

The Academy awards Bachelors, Masters, and Professional degrees in a variety of fields. Disciplines include piano, vocal, orchestra instruments, opera, and jazz.

About 14,000 professional musicians graduated Academy with Masters and PhD’s in last sixty years. The reputation and credentials of Academy are equivalent or at some subjects higher than Julliard Music school.

There are many world renowned classical, jazz and folk musicians, who graduated from Gnessin. Here are just  few names of celebrities who are Gnessin alumni.

  • Doluhanova Z.
  • Svetlanov E.
  • Fedoseev V.
  • Dokshizer T.
  • Kisin E.
  • Kobzon I.
  • Rudin A.
  • Tuhmanov D.
  • Tariverdiev M.

I will continue about Dr. Nosina’s detailed teaching method, Russian methods of piano teaching, and my own method in coming posts. Have a question? Don’t forget to ask in comments.

7 thoughts on “Elza’s Tribute to her Russian Piano Teacher”

    1. Hello Ray Geisler,Thank you for leaving nice comment. It is the goal: share, inspire and share again:) Lets create music, art, love, but not war!
      This is what we do in Arts and Buddhism. Musically yours, Elza Ritter

  1. Pingback: Gregory Smith
    1. Hello Gregory! I am sorry for such late reply. All comments went to my web developer account, so I did not know people writing here. Thank you for your comment! ER

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