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Dr. Gayane Avakian

Piano & Music Theory Teacher

Classical | Sacred | Musical Theater | Folk | Opera

 

Beginners • Intermediate • Advanced

Serving La Crescenta, La Canada, Altadena, Pasadena, Tujunga, Sunland areas | Online

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A Bit About Dr. Avakian

An accomplished pianist and organist, Gayane Avakian began her musical education at the age of three under her mother's guidance, who was also a pianist, and at the age of seven, started to perform solo and with the Philharmonic Orchestra. She earned Masters' and Doctorate degrees in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan, Armenia (USSR), where she later became a faculty member.

 

Dr. Avakian is a winner of several competitions: Third Prize in The I Trans-Caucasian Chamber Music Competition, Second Prize and Special Prize of Press in The IX International Chamber Music Competition in Trapani, Italy. She has appeared on radio and television in Armenia, Russia, Italy and the USA. From 1992 until 2004, Gayane lived in New York, performing and teaching extensively. In June, 1993 she was a member of the Jury at The Sixth Annual Youth Piano Competition of New York Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall.

 

She has performed in Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Juilliard School, Staller Center for the Performing Arts of Stony Brook University, Harry Chapin Lakeside Armenian Church, Bayside, St. Vartan Cathedral and St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York, Lanterman Auditorium in La Cañada, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Long Beach, Temple Mount Sinai, Los Angeles, Northridge University, Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, and the Church of Our Savior in San Gabriel. In August, 2010 she appeared as a guest artist at the Beverly Hills International Music Festival.

 

Dr. Avakian was a faculty member at Yerevan State Conservatory, Armenia (1981-1992), New York Conservatory of Music (1993-1995), Long Island School of Music (1995-2001), Tchaikovsky Music School, Walnut, CA (2005-2007). From 2002- 2004 she was involved in Piano Performance Studies with Liz Huang at The Juilliard School, New York.

 

Currently Dr. Avakian resides in La Crescenta, California. In addition to her extensive performance schedule, she maintains a very busy private piano studio and is the organist at First Church of Christ, Scientist in Altadena. She is a member of the Music Teachers’ Association of California, the National Federation of Music Clubs, the American Guild of Organists and the Tuesday Musicale of Pasadena, California.

 

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TESTIMONIALS

It is pleasure to express gratitude to my piano teacher of last 6 years, Dr. Gayane Avakian.
 

Students must have their goals when start taking piano lessons. During my school ages from 10 to 27 years old, I was trained by learning technics with etudes then playing mostly classical music pieces only. During my professional career, I did not have time to practice enough until my semi-retirement.


When I started taking lessons from Dr. Avakian 6 years ago, my goal was to practice enough with correct fingering and understanding composers’ intensions to achieve high levels of performance. She has been very supportive and patient and yet logical and critical to my playing piano so that now I feel I am reaching to my goal although it is so hard to play piano as written. There seems no end to complete the music. At each lesson, I learn one after another something unnoticed. It is amazing that I keep still practicing the same piece over and over, but still finding new challenges. Thanks for giving me great lessons.

 

Yoko Fujita-Yamaguchi

Professor Emeritus

Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope

In 11 years I have worked with Dr. Avakian,   her complete expertise over the piano and her directness in her teaching has helped me reach heights I had never imagined. In the past three years, we have progressed through very complex music spanning from  Scott Joplin’s  Maple Leaf Rag to Gershwin’s  Rhapsody in Blue; with Dr.Avakian’s  mentorship I quickly and thoroughly established the styles and mannerisms of each piece. Even during lessons in which we put the finishing touches on pieces, she sometimes shows me completely different interpretations of the music than those I had already formulated.
 

Her familiarity with the vast majority of piano repertoire means that she can recognize even the slightest mistakes as soon as I make them, allowing us to make quick corrections and help me practice more accurately.


Under Dr. Avakian’s   mentorship , I have had the honor of receiving multiple of the highest superior ratings in the Junior Festival across many years of learning. This has allowed me to bring a different perspective to repertoire as a soloist and orchestral musician.


It is truly amazing to work with her, and having this opportunity has allowed me to completely change and improve my approach to piano repertoire.

Nolan Brown

Dr. Gayane Avakian  has been the piano teacher for my two children for nine years.  She is very patient and is able to accommodate her level of instruction based on the student’s ability and temperament.

 

She is always prompt and often spends extra time with her students to make sure they understand their lessons. Her technical abilities and knowledge allow her to successfully teach her students at all levels, from the beginner to the very advanced pupil.

 

With her instruction, my children not merely have advanced their technical skills and understanding of music theory, they also continue to enjoy playing and practicing the piano.

 

Ju Yun Kim

It is my pleasure to have studied classical piano with Dr. Avakian for four years as a teen, from September 2011 to November 2015. I began studying with her as an intermediate pianist, and can happily report that I ended my study with her as an advanced pianist with skills that will last for my lifetime.
 

Under Dr. Avakian’s eye, I worked on many classical pieces ( my favorite and most notable being  Fantasie Impromptu by Chopin ), perfecting my manual dexterity and learning how to be a more expressive, creative musician through both sound levels and tempo rubato.
 

Although I was never a huge fan of musical competitions, Dr. Avakian provided me and her other students with the opportunity to share our progress at biannual piano recitals. In addition to practical study and performance, we spent significant time working on music theory. The blend of theory and practice helped me cultivate a strong understanding of music that I use in daily life and leisure to this day (most recently, I transposed guitar music for my father).
 

I could not recommend working with Dr. Avakian enough; she is kind, detail-oriented, she leaves space for creativity and individualism, and she actively shapes a comfortable environment for her students to learn and grow as artists.

         
Thank you for your mentorship, Dr. Avakian!

 

Kristen Brown

Dr. Avakian has been a wonderful piano teacher for my two kids. They started lessons with her about 10 years ago when they were ages 8 and 12 after their original teacher moved out of the area and recommended Dr. Avakian to us.
 

My daughter continued lessons for four years with Dr. Avakian until deciding to pursue other interests in her last two years of high school.  My son, who played piano in the high school symphony for four years and just graduated, still takes lessons from her.  She was successful in connecting with and teaching them from their younger years through their high school years, across all their skill levels.

An accomplished pianist herself, Dr. Avakian is not a teacher that students will outgrow. She adapts the music style to the student’s interest, which was key in keeping my son interested in playing in his younger years when he was mostly interested in jazz. She focuses on teaching how to play musically, not just technically. She has been very flexible in rescheduling lessons to accommodate school and sports activities when they conflict with lesson times.

Most important of all, she is a very kind and caring person, and our entire family likes and appreciates her very much.

 

Paula Brown