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panayota's Music Garden

Teaching Philosophy

YOUTH

My teaching style with children incorporates a combination of improvisation and structure. The basic mediums for music exploration in my private studio are my Steinway grand piano, the voice, and a drum set. We use a variety of music books, songs that the child loves, folk and children's songs, and we also make up our own songs on the spot. We play music games, we create our own drawings/musical charts, and we also use photography, paintings, poems, and other mediums to explore common grounds with other disciplines. I devote part of the lesson in strengthening the child's inner pulse with rhythmic kinesthetics: I use a combination of my own rhythmic drills and also exercises that are based on African and Indian traditions. I teach music notation when the child is ready. My students also learn to listen deeply as we persistently work on our listening skills (ear training and also listening carefully to each other when we improvise together, for example).

 

For me, the most important aspect of these lessons is that the child learns that they can freely express their imagination, feelings, ideas, and visions using the skills they have at the moment. The ultimate goal is to develop a seamless connection between the ear, the voice, the instrument (piano), and our authentic self. As you can see, I do not follow a fixed curriculum. I have a weekly plan about every student, but I make quick adjustments if I need to. Every lesson is a unique opportunity for exploration, interaction, and play. We learn together. 

 

I kindly ask the parents to trust me in this process and allow for growth to happen organically without any rush or high expectations for immediate results; even though they might see those. True learning happens when authentic connection and trust between student and teacher have been established first. Then craft and skills can be developed easily. One step at a time.

My studio is open to ages 5 and up. I teach in my home studio in Arlington, MA. If you are interested:

Email me at pitsahal@hotmail.com or call me at 857-253-9115

ADULTS

Panayota offers private lessons to adults: voice, improvisation, composition, musicianship. Her teaching style is adjusted based on the student's individual needs. Panayota draws techniques from Estill Voice Training System and aspires to promote awareness of the anatomy of the vocal instrument. With patient guidance, she helps the student expand their vocal palette and strengthen their musical ear and artistic taste. She has coached students and professionals of jazz, pop, experimental, and folk music, as well as songwriters and actors. She teaches privately in her home studio and online in her Zoom room.

Panayota holds a BM from Ionian University in Greece and a MM

from New England Conservatory. She is a Fulbright Scholar.

Mission

To serve as guide as the child

explores aspects of themselves

through music

To support the adult learner

and offer tools that strengthen

their craft & artistry 

Vision

Creativity

Confidence

Expression

Authenticity

Belonging

& Lots of Fun !!!

Illustrated White Cats

Testimonials

"8 months ago, my daughter, Tessa, age 7 expressed her desire to learn the art of music. After exploring options of different music schools and teachers, we discovered Panayota, a beacon of light in a time of darkness. The pandemic had cast a shadow of isolation and Panayota offered a path to enrichment and enlightenment. Panayota has offered my daughter much more than music lessons, she has given her friendship, shown her kindness, patience, love, and has allowed her to form a desire for learning music that I didn’t know could be expressed by a young child. Despite Panayota’s kind and compassionate nature, she challenges Tessa to reach her full potential every week. She sets realistic expectations that ignite a passion in her to practice her new skills. I would highly recommend Panayota to anyone who is searching for a teacher for the art of music but also a role model, mentor, and friend."

~ Alex S., mother of 7-year-old Tessa

"I have two young daughters who learn very differently from each other, and they are both really enjoying their weekly music lessons with Panayota. "Miss Yota" is kind and approachable, which puts my quieter child at ease and has really helped her to come out of her shell and feel comfortable exploring through music. My more rambunctious daughter has really enjoyed learning about rhythm and improvisation on the drums and piano! Both girls spend the ride home singing and chatting excitedly about everything they learned and how much fun they had. We are always recommending music lessons with Miss Yota to our friends!" 

~ Kara R., mother of 5-year-old Trinity and 3-year-old Layna

"Panayota changed my life. When I began taking lessons with her, I was just thinking of enhancing my life by developing my singing skills to go with my jazz piano lessons with her husband.  I didn't realize only after a couple of lessons, it would change my life!

Just after several lessons, Panayota encouraged me one day by saying "You have a Jazz voice", and then told me that I could pursue this professionally.  I was flabbergasted.  I never aspired to become a Jazz singer, but I have always loved Jazz. This was the best thing that could happen in my life as I was going through a life crisis and severe depression, where I felt hopeless.  I began falling in love with the whole art form of singing Jazz, and soon after began creating shows with the best band on the planet ( with her husband's world-class band!).  Panayota helped me every step of the way, teaching me all the aspects of the craft;  from technique, interpretation, form,  arranging, mindset, etc etc.  What is extraordinary is that throughout this whole process, I was not at my optimum self; my depression made me unfocused, distracted, and often unprepared for her lessons.  But whatever state I was in, Panayota would tune into where I was, and "meet" me there and make the best out of every situation.  Looking back, it's a miracle, that I even did those shows, since I had such a hard time practicing!!  But with Panayota's teaching and mentorship, I was able to start from my first lessons in Jazz, to where I am today, as an independent professional vocalist, where I now know how to prepare, and create shows with my own band. I cannot thank Panayota enough (and Lefteris!) for welcoming me in the state I was in back then, for so selflessly and exceptionally finding, recognizing the good in me, and then nurturing, mentoring me to become the Jazz vocalist I am today.  Thank you Panayota for being the greatest teacher, friend, and extraordinary artist who inspires me in such a profound way.  My life is so much more enriched, and joyful because I learned to sing Jazz with you.  I also want to thank Lefteris, her amazing Jazz pianist husband for so generously playing with me that I have been able to experience singing Jazz with a world-class band!"

~ Sarah Infini Takagi, professional music artist, comedian, educator 

 

© 2018 by PANAYOTA HALOULAKOU