upcoming concerts
Photos: June 2013 Students Recital, The Westchester Conservatory of Music
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Irena Portenko's Piano Studio
Now auditioning for 2014-2015 year. 
All students: I would be happy to discuss your goals and aspirations in your music studies via phone (914) 417-5090 or via e-mail.
Attention intermediate to advanced students: for your initial lesson, please, prepare two scales, a piece and, be ready to sight-read.

Teaching philosophy and principles

We all know how significant it is to have a good start in anything we begin to learn.

At any age learning is important, however in early age it is essential. Learning music is optional, yet all the children are exposed to it starting as early as elementary school, and some of them-even before. Music stays with us for the rest of our lives; it develops intellectual abilities, balances and enriches our emotional world, improves reading and discipline, and increases children's creative capabilities. Being introduced to a good quality music education is a must.

My teaching philosophy is based on the following principles:

· Balance the amount of the material, its content, speed and intensity of the learning process with the individual capabilities of the student;
· Enrichment of the student's inner world by Inspiring him/her with the creative and demanding approach to presenting topics and generating the sincere interest in music making;
· Eliminating performance anxiety, stage fright and overall low performance level by improving technical mobility, finger control and flexibility, sound producing, memorization, phrasing and imaginative presentation;
· Broadening the student's perception of the composition by introducing the elements of music history and theory to enhance the performance experience;
· Incorporating sight-reading, four-hand or duo piano performances and improvisational element into the scheme of the lessons;
· Careful selection of the repertoire that emphasizes the individual strengths of the student, while developing the weaker sides of his/her personal and performing capabilities.  


"Beside being an outstanding performer, Ms. Portenko is an excellent teacher, mentor and an extraordinary warm  and friendly person."
Douglas R., professor, choral conducting.

"Irena is a pianist of the first rank, dynamic, musically compelling and with an extraordinary technical capacity. Her performances remain vividly etched in my memory. I feel that she has a very bright future as a pianist and musician."
Logan S., professor, piano.

"Ms. Portenko coached me in the Russian language as well as providing truly exceptional partnership at the keyboard. Her pianism was thrilling, sensitive, an secure, and I had a thoroughly enjoyable experience performing five songs by S. Rachmaninoff for the first time in my career."
George S., professor, voice.

"Irena is a superior pre-college piano teacher for all levels from beginner through advanced high school students. She instills at once a solid technical foundation with a musical sensitivity and enthusiasm for performance that meets with great success."
John E., professor, piano pedagogy.

"Irena demonstrated early in her tenure that she understood what teaching is all about. She is well organized and goal oriented. I suppose teaching comes easy to those who are, as she is, driven in equal measure by both quality and efficiency."
Frederick P., college student, piano class.

"With Irena, there is never a dull moment. Her sharp wit and positive attitude provided a a wonderful learning atmosphere."
Andrew H., college student piano class.

"Irena is an immensely talented and friendly teacher who clearly enjoys teaching and has a long-lasting patience for those beginners who have difficulty keeping up."
Isaac T., college student, piano class.

"Irena has really helped me improve on my expression and delivery of repertoire, and I can hear a distinct difference in my tone."
Rachel F., middle school student.

"I attribute much of my growth as a pianist and as a composer to Ms. Portenko. Ms. Portenko has been an amazing resource over the two years as both my piano lesson instructor and as an invaluable source of knowledge about the composers and their techniques."
Kevin R., college student, piano studio.

"Ms. Portenko has an incredible talent for creating stories about musical pieces in order to have me bring out musical shapes... On nearly a weekly basis, it amazes me how much one hour can improve my performance."
Carmen W., college student, piano studio.

"Irena is very knowledgeable about a number of musical pieces. After I became more familiar with her style of teaching, many of my problems in learning how to play a piece were easily tackled-thanks to her skillful teaching."
Sean L., college student, piano studio.

"Irena is open to various styles of music."
Julia M., college student, piano studio. 

"I have been playing in a piano trio. With her superb efforts in coaching us, we won the honor of Outstanding String Ensemble and are nominated again this year for the same honor."
Jane L., high school student, private piano studio.

"I was very privileged to have been able to study with such a dedicated teacher. Irena truly cares about her students."
Sarah C., high school student, private piano studio.

Yuri Taguchi NYC Solo Recital, April 12th 2015
Jack Silvers s. Prokofiev Montague and Capulet
Jack Silvers, J.S. Bach Concerto in D minor
Yuri Taguchi
Jack Silvers
Jack Silvers and Yuri Taguchi
Derek Cheung