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Emma Mamayeva has been teaching and performing piano for more than 30 years. Born into a musical family, she was trained from childhood in the finest musical institutions of Moscow, Russia. She received a Master’s degree from Moscow Conservatory and went on to a distinguished career in music pedagogy and performance.

As a teenage girl and later as a student in Moscow Conservatory, Emma developed a love of blues and other contemporary music popular in the West. Sheet music for popular songs was not available in the Soviet Union, so she taught herself to play these tunes by ear. This experience, coupled with years of teaching beginners, led her to refine a simple technique for playing left-hand accompaniments to popular music. Over and over she observed students who were starting to become bored and frustrated with classical training develop a great enthusiasm for playing the piano when they learned the simplified left-hand accompaniments she had devised. Since her method was so successful with generations of students, and since no other such method seemed to have been published anywhere, she decided to share this fun and easy approach with others.

Emma believes that in teaching children, it's important to build a broader appreciation of music. For this reason she ends the lessons of her younger students with a musical story--one of the great classics of ballet or opera. Over the years she developed a manner of telling the stories of these classics--Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Ruslan and Ludmila, Carmen, The Nutcracker and others--so that her young students became deeply engrossed in these tales, which she related as she played excerpts from each work. All of her young students look forward to this part of the lesson, considering these stories to be a great treat.

The popularity of these stories and the eager anticipation with which her students awaited each weekly installment prompted Emma to create a series of books, the Scherzo Classic Musical Tales. These books combine beautiful illustrations by Ukrainian-born painter Ivan Bratko, exciting retellings of these classics aimed at children from ages 5 to 12 and simple piano arrangements of the best known themes associated with each episode of the ballets and operas. This series will begin publication in 2003.

Emma came to the United States in 1992. She and her family live in Springfield, NJ.

 
Studio Location
Springfield, NJ 07081