"Our daughters have been playing piano at the Art of Playing Music School for the past 5 years and we could not be happier with their experience. Our teacher has a wonderful way with children and they are both eager to challenge themselves and they even practice without being forced to do so! Highly recommend this school!" Christian McKiernan
"My 8 year old daughter has been taking piano lessons for the past two years through the Art of Piano Playing Music School and our experience has been beyond wonderful on all levels. Dina, as well as all the teachers we have worked with have been stellar- passionate, patient and incredible with children. Dina Paolucci has been amazing at adapting to our daughter's changing schedule and is a great communicator. I highly highly recommend!!!!" Jodie Magid Oriol
"Great teachers. Awesome school director. Flexible to accommodate any changes in the schedule from my end. My two children have been taking piano lessons for two years and we recently started guitar for the older one as well." Ivan Strugatsky
"Dear Anahid, I can’t believe it’s already been a year since William's first piano lesson with you. Throughout the past year you’ve given William many lessons that I’m sure he will remember and appreciate for the rest of his life. I can honestly say that I could not have asked for a better teacher. Your patience and your easy-going style during lessons has motivated William to keep learning. It is obvious that you love your job and you really care about your students. Under your guidance William has made great progress and passed the piano exams with flying scores. I look forward to having you continue to work with him for years to come!" Jennifer
"Anahid has been working with our daughter, KZ, since KZ's fourth birthday. She is fast approaching her fifth birthday, and we are amazed to see the progress she has made with the piano. On one hand, we knew KZ loved piano because she had been asking for once since she could talk. On the other hand, we just didn't know if a four year old had the capacity to sit for a lesson. After meeting with Anahid, we knew that her sweet smile and gentle voice would work with KZ's personality. We decided to start with two one-hour lessons a week, allowing KZ any length of time she wanted to work. Mommy would then take the balance of the hour with her lessons. We really didn't think KZ would make it more than 20 minutes. This plan lasted for three weeks. KZ then wanted the entire hour each lesson to "play" with her friend, Anahid. I'm not going lie, there are days that KZ just doesn't want to play. She's tired, or hungry, or whatever a four year old can be at that moment. However, with Anahid's kind, but firm presence, KZ makes it though her lessons. We are very pleased and can't wait to hear what KZ will be playing this time next year". Tamara Hoover & KZ
"I can not express adequately how much we have enjoyed Dina’s piano lessons. My 6 year old has been studying with Dina for over a year now and gets more and more excited each week. Dina has a wonderful way with children that makes each lesson, exciting, fun and the end result is always impressive. I’ve never had to ask my daughter to practice during the week, she does so willingly and I credit Dina completely for developing this love for the piano and music in general. I can’t wait to start lessons with Dina for my little one AND myself"! Mina McKiernan
"My older daughter started taking lessons with Dina two years ago when she was 12. Dina had a wonderful way of engaging her. I think my daughter liked that Dina took these lessons seriously and would expect a lot from her, yet all the while using a gentle, positive and fun approach. Soon my younger daughter, at age 5, wanted to join in the fun and start lessons too. Dina used different techniques to engage this little student, adjusting her teaching style to this daughter's needs. Unfortunately, after one year Dina moved and that made it impossible for her to continue teaching my children. Luckily, she found an equally excellent new teacher for us, Anahid. Anahid is also a classically trained musician, educated at a Russian conservatory, and she has equally high standards for her students. She has developed a wonderful, caring relationship with both of my children (again, adjusting her style to meet their different needs), and teaches them technique, theory and music history. Anahid takes an interest in their lives beyond their music lessons, which both girls appreciate. Both children have looked forward to performing at Steinway Hall and at the Advent Lutheran Church for the school's semi-annual concerts. I am so impressed by how they approach these performances- with dedication, and little, if any, fear. Recently my little one started to compose music, and may perform it at the next concert. This coming year we look forward to my older daughter competing in a musical competition and both girls recording a CD of their music. I am thrilled to see the progress both my children have made and their ongoing interest in learning how to play piano. Thank you, Dina and Anahid"!! Eileen W.
"It’s amazing how my son’s David piano skills improved only after the first four lessons with Irina. He was so motivated by her inspirational teaching approach. Her patience and constant encouragement for improvement helped my son in daily practicing. It was unbelievable when his commitment to the piano was getting stronger day by day. David is always impatiently waiting for his piano lessons with Irina and is making a lot of effort to accomplish his homework assignments on time. Thank you, Irina, for your tremendous dedication and professionalism". David’s Mother
"Irina is a great piano teacher and a musician as well. Before I was enrolled in the Manhattan School of Music, Irina had a great impact on my development as a pianist. She was systematically working on my musicality and technique. I appreciate her participation in preparing me for various recitals and auditions. I always felt 100% confident to perform in front of the audience. Irina is an expert in her field and I highly recommend her".
"I contacted Dina for help and accompaniment on an operatic song I was having difficulty with. I have very little musical training, but she was able to teach me simple technique for my very difficult song that helped me immensely, as well as telling me where in the accompaniment I should pay attention to find my notes. Because of her, I have a much deeper understanding of the song and concrete ways to fix my difficulties with it." Amanda Berry, singer
"I’ve been taking piano lessons with Irina for 4 years. Before that, my personal experience was never connected to music or art. Irina helped me to see the miracle by making me play the piano. Through daily practice, I realized I was getting more and more addicted to this wonderful art. My dream of playing the musical instrument that I thought was impossible one day became a reality. Now I can play different styles of music by reading the score and by ear. I believe that Irina’s professional and creative approach in teaching the piano can help anyone to reach his/her goal and open anyone’s artistic abilities and talents hidden in their soul". Douglas 34 y.o.
"My three children are so grateful for having their piano lessons with Ms. Irina Smirnova. They always try to make more effort to improve their piano technique and sight-reading skills. Irina is so wonderful in motivating kids of different ages in making music. After the first year with Irina, my children were able to learn not only how to play the piano, but also learned some music theory, composers, and music history. Irina also helped my children to become more connected with each other through practicing ensemble pieces of various genres and styles. I am so excited that my kids have learned so much and I am proud of their accomplishments. Thank you Irina for your enthusiasm and passion for teaching the piano". Father of Sarah, Peter and Megan
"I found Ms. Volkova online and gave her a call. She was quick to make room in her schedule for me, and promptly scheduled rehearsals for our Carnegie Hall rehearsal. She is highly musical and gave me good advice concerning musicality and pronunciation. Her skills as an accompanist are very well developed for someone of her age, and show the level of expertise and experience expected of someone beyond her years. Dina was early for every rehearsal, and made additional adjustments to her schedule when I needed it. She is absolutely a value as an accompanist!" Sharon O'Brien (Soprano)
"Taking piano lessons with Irina helped me to improve so many skills that are important in performing musically and professionally. My ability to find the balance between listening and practicing is getting stronger and more efficient. By playing the piano my ear-training was tremendously improved. Now I can easily memorize any musical piece and perform it with confidence and inspiration in front of many people. Irina was so helpful in preparing me for the NYSSMA festival where I was highly scored and praised. Thank you so much for your infinite patience and dedication". Rachel 16 y.o.
"I always had so much energy for learning anything new. Learning how to play the piano was one of the most challenging steps in my life. I had so many songs in my head since I was very young and I never had a chance to learn how to perform them. However, Irina discovered a new world for me where I found how to play any tune by ear and using music score. Now I can easily understand any rhythmic pattern, dynamic changes and musical development of any piece. I became so excited when I was able to play famous songs for my grandchildren. I think Irina’s energetic, organized, and productive instructions can help anyone at any age and any level to become an excellent piano player. I am looking forward to have Irina as a piano instructor for my growing children". Galina, 61 y.o.
"Irina’s unique approach in teaching my daughter had a great influence on her musical development and personal growth. During two years of taking piano lessons with Irina, I was constantly amazed how my daughter was getting more organized, disciplined and focused. The solid foundation in piano performance, fundamentals techniques, valuable practice habits, and creative thinking all had a direct impact on my daughter’s musical, artistic and academic achievements. From that experience, I believe that taking piano lessons and acquiring useful skills from it can help you reach so many goals in your life". Mother of 12-year-old Anna
"Dina is a fantastic piano teacher and person. Both my daughter and I have been taking lessons with her and are at different levels. We both enjoy the lessons so much that it is hard to believe that an hour goes by so quickly." Angela and Emma, 9
"I worked with Dina Volkova from 2008 to 2010, and it was an incredibly rewarding experience. She accompanied me in lessons, recitals, master classes, competitions, and many other performances, and her technical ability coupled with her musicality and passion made her a true artistic partner, not just an accompanist. I enthusiastically recommend her for her artistic vision, her attention to detail, and her easy-going, friendly nature." Taylor Ward, Baritone
"Dina is a wonderful accompanist. Besides being kind and easy to get along with, Dina is a fine musician. She provided me with very helpful hints in preparation for my college auditions. She was highly prepared for my auditions and her accompaniment supported me as a performer." Jenna Hinckley, mezzo soprano
"I was in need of a last minute accompanist replacement for a voice audition in New York City and contacted Dina. She was so quick to respond and thrilled to work with me. She had all the music completely prepared when I arrived and played flawlessly in my audition, even though the room and the piano were less than desirable. I will definitely use her for future auditions. She is an invaluable resource for singers in New York!" Will Berman, tenor