Sophia Gergely

Teaching Approach:
My many years of Orff training and experiences have infused my piano teaching. I see my work as a process on a continuum where the teacher appears when the student appears,i.e., is ready. Every student has a unique way of learning and I consider my position as pedagogue to be translator and interpreter.

In my studies in behavioral learning I further explored and developed understanding of this important approach to teaching. Although I use “method” books, I am reluctant to be locked in to any such single one. Long ago when I majored in piano pedagogue at Longy, we learned to study and then compile our own “method books.” I love the early John Brimhall series, but am surprised how few teachers I meet use them. I also use Lila Fletcher, Donald Waxman and Bastien, as well as compilations of selected classics, jazz, rock and others. I try to use creative original music from many books I have collected over the years and am always eager to introduce a Bach minuet or Schubert or Beethoven dance.

My method utilizes a kinesthetic approach where recognition of notes directly from page to instrument comes before stressing the cognitive sequencing of alphabetical labels, especially for young ages where they are struggling to master early reading and math skills, and sorting out various learning issues. Central to this process is teaching to recognize patterns – in harmonic structure, melodic line, and any other note patterns that become apparent.

I try to present music as a magical language that should be fun above all else, pleasurable and rewarding, especially when the student learns to apply him/her self by practicing.

Studied at Emerson College and the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA. Became fully certified Orff Schulwerk music teacher through NYU and Hofstra, taught classroom music in NYC for 20 years, including pre K music and movement at the Bloomingdale House of Music and elementary music classes in a Harlem public school. I also volunteered extensively in NYC elem and middle public schools designing recorder and music programs. I later earned my B.A. degree at UWW at UMass in a combined teaching and behavioral studies program. Presently I substitute teach in the Amherst and regional public schools in any and all subjects and grades. I have taught piano privately for over 30 years and am now trying to replenish my student load which I allowed to dwindle after losing my husband to cancer, followed by a neurological loss of finger dexterity. My special edge is that I am an itinerant music teacher, equally comfortable teaching out of students’ homes or mine.

Sophia Gergely
66 Butter Hill Rd.
Pelham MA 01002
h: 413-256-1447
c: 413-426-8550