Elena Levina is intelligent and inquisitive pianist with good creative and detailed ideas. She plays with conviction and thoughtfulness. – Timothy Bach, Professor Piano/Accompanying, San Francisco Conservatory

I started taking lessons with Elena about a year ago. At that time, I only had few months of piano background, so I was a beginner. I can tell that I am not ready to stop taking lessons with her! It’s been a great year of practice and progress. As a beginner I was/am very focused on trying to get to hit the right keys and that’s it. She opened the world of music to me through ear training, learning how to listen to the instrument, and using my voice to understand the relationship between breathing and playing. On top of that she helped me understand the music we play, by talking about theory, scales, chords, to make sense of the music. Each lesson is passionate. She manages to mix theory, technical practice, sound and music. She’s imaginative, always tries to find ‘the’ exercise, ‘the’ practice to get us to where she wants us to be. She does not give up until we reach it. She is very flexible and adjusts every lesson based on the practice to get the best out of the lesson. She’s calm and patient, encouraging and always says when something is not right, so I get the right balance of support and criticism which is very important in the learning process. More than a teacher, she’s also a great pianist and I believe that makes a difference: she’s a teacher who plays. We can feel she’s passionate about music and the instrument that she masters. Not only is it always a pleasure to listen to her playing a piece, but also it helps understanding what she’s explaining while talking about the sound we try to produce with the instrument. Sometimes during our lesson she would try to play as I play to force me to listen more and to have a sense of where the problems are.

I am not learning piano with her, I am learning how to play music.

– Sandrine Ribeau, student

Taking piano lessons from Elena is absolutely a great pleasure. As an adult student who had not studied or practiced for many years before starting to work with her, I was surprised and delighted by her knowledge, kindness, intelligence, and creativity in teaching. She has helped me begin to look at each piece of music in a different and increasingly complex way. She has collaborated with me in choosing music that I love and that helps me with the many lessons I need to learn. She has also made excellent choices of the exercises I need to improve my technical competence. She is always patient, positive, and thoughtful. She is very clear that playing the piano is meant to be enjoyed, and I am certainly enjoying it more and more, thanks to her.

– Nancy Read, student