"I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.”
These sentiments still ring true today. Whether we are young or old, learning is a skill to be cherished and enjoyed. But to benefit fully the teacher must imbibe a sense of fun and enjoyment into the learning experience. Liana's style and method of teaching does this. Her love of music and her enthusiasm for the piano is infectious to all who learn through her, whatever level they begin their musical journey at.
My musical journey with Liana began just five weeks ago. I was not planning to take up the piano again as, despite learning as a child through to young adulthood, I felt I had never made much progress. Moving through adulthood with a busy lifestyle, the flame had been allowed to die. Liana has rekindled this flame. She has done this by teaching me to recognise music patterns in order to sight read with ease and thereby quickly build up a repertoire of musical pieces to play and enjoy.
A way to describe what it feels like learning the 'Liana way' is to imagine having always enjoyed a story through looking at the pictures only. Years later you are taught how to read the words and then with delight you understand the true meaning and emotion of the story. I now sight read music more quickly, playing with real enjoyment a piece by Bach and another by Borodin. Over the coming months I look forward with enthusiasm to discovering the delights of Beethoven and Brahms.
So, Liana with her special method of teaching has rekindled my love of music and my relationship with the piano. Liana has taught me how to recognise music patterns which as Plato said 'are the keys to learning'. I hope Plato would be impressed too!
Five years ago, at the age of 67 and approaching retirement, I decided to do something I‘d had an urge to do for many years, but never got round to it — learn to play the piano. I think there are many out there in the same circumstances as I was: having lessons at school when I was about 10 but giving it up after six months because I was frankly bored because, on reflection, my teacher was a very dull, old lady certainly without any idea of how to motivate a young lad and probably with limited teaching skills.
Now looking back I rue the fact that I wasted all those years in terms of the rich enjoyment to be had from mastering this wonderful, complete instrument.
I spent a lot of time searching for a piano teacher in the Oxfordshire area and seemed spoilt for choice, but narrowed the field down to a shortlist of five. It was not difficult to make my choice — Liana Ainge. She was the only one who remotely fitted the description of ‘professional’ in her approach which is indeed outstanding. Unlike Liana, all the others came over as unimpressive, had no proposal as to how they would teach a senior from scratch and in two cases did not even have any qualification to teach.
I signed up for her initial course of ten lessons for a beginner, during which she assessed me to see whether I had any real ability to play. This impressed me because I felt assured that she would tell me if she believed the piano was not for me. In the event I made the grade and I have continued with my weekly lessons ever since.
Liana is aware that unlike child students, adults, particularly seniors, do not have a lot of time to become proficient. For this reason she has developed a special programme for older people designed to fast-track them through the training. With virtually no boring, repetitive scales, arpeggios etc that can quickly sap one’s enthusiasm, but rather getting on to play actual pieces of music that incorporate these basics, results in the learning process being most enjoyable. This method makes you feel you have achieved right from the start.
Some people, at least initially, believe they want to simply play for their own pleasure but central to Liana’s philosophy is getting her students to realise how much more one can get out of the piano if one performs in front of other people. Now your audience enjoys you playing as well as yourself! However, at first most people find this a difficult barrier to overcome, often finding their nerves take over or they suffer a ‘dry’ as can happen to an actor on the stage. Liana has all the answers to get you over this hurdle by combining her skills gained from her doctorate degree in Psychology with teaching the piano. It works!
Personally I am not interested in passing the Grade examinations, but am learning to play purely for pleasure. Only five years in, I am currently studying a Bach Little Fugue that is a subject of Grade Seven examination. Obviously learning to sight-read is a major part of the learning process but the end game is to be able to play from memory to create a repertoire of pieces for a performance.
I have recommended Liana to several of my friends, who were unimpressed with their lack-lustre teachers and now they are inspired and delighted that their efforts have some meaning and purpose.
Liana has certainly inspired me, being a great motivator, an outstanding teacher and, most importantly, a lovely person.
I am a semi-retired solicitor introduced to Liana by a fellow pupil about three years ago. I had a smattering of musical knowledge from school days and choral singing but otherwise started from scratch. I have found Liana a most determined and stimulating teacher under whose guidance I have made great strides and any failure to progress even further has been as a result of me not finding enough time to practise. I would recommend her ( and in fact have) without any qualms.
Recent retirement offered the opportunity of trying to learn to play the piano. While having long enjoyed listening to music I had had absolutely no experience of playing an instrument, of singing in a choir or of reading music. It was my huge good fortune to be introduced to Dr Liana Ainge who gave my first lesson in May 2013. She has sympathetically, carefully and patiently taught me how to start playing in addition to explaining the theory. I have learned to play pieces by Bach, Chopin and Borodin in this short time. It has all been done with her great good humour, tremendous encouragement and understanding and with a strong emphasis on it all being done for pleasure while acknowledging the important role it plays in maintaining good mental health.
Her lessons continue to make a very major contribution to the happiness and fulfilment of my retirement.
I graduated from a music school in Russia (piano) but have not been playing for 25 years. I have recently begun to play piano again and have started lessons with Liana. Liana has helped me to quickly get back on track. She encourages me to play difficult but very interesting pieces and I enjoy our lessons a lot.
I started taking piano lessons with Liana in 2008. I had taken grades in the past but wasn’t happy with my level and wanted to further improve my playing and performance. After starting piano lessons with Liana I was immediately delighted with the improvement in my playin and have continued to improve ever since. I like Liana’s method of teaching because it is different and creative. Liana has always found very effective and imaginative ways to improve my technique, musicianship and performance. I am now playing concert-level programs and working on my performance skills by giving a few small performances.
I first started having piano lessons with Liana 4 years ago, she was highly recommended to me by a friend. I had piano lessons up until the age of 11 years and had not touched the piano for 48 years so I had to learn the basics again. Liana's method of teaching is inspiring, there are no boring scales instead one learns to play beautiful music learning each piece by heart and slowly building up a repertoire. My confidence is growing all the time and my family and friends are really impressed with my progress. I can now play Chopin, Bach, Beethoven and Mozart and I so look forward to my weekly lesson and really enjoy practising as well.