Gorin School Of Music
2290 W El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA 94040
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The Gorin School of Music has been one of the very most important influences in my life. I graduated from the school in 2008 after over a decade of attending the school. This place is extremely special in that one does not just learn the basics of music and its technical aspects at the School. Rather, the Gorin School of Music teaches students to have a musician's ear, to be able to discern between different musical styles, to be able to translate emotion into sound, and to truly use music as a vessel of expression. Music is so much more than notes on a page, and the Gorin School recognizes this and empowers students to create their own impressions and views on music of different genres and eras. If education is really about giving people the tools they need to make informed decisions, the Gorin School provides students with the understanding of music required to be able to form opinions on how a piece of music should be played, or on what types of music and which composers one really enjoys the most.
To teach in this way is undoubtedly more complex and difficult than simply focusing on reading notes off a page. The faculty at the Gorin School have in common an immense passion for music, and succeed in sharing with students how much of a blessing music can be in one's life. Even in my first years at the School when I was playing much shorter and less challenging pieces, I was instructed to put my focus much less on striking the correct piano key with the correct finger, but on playing the piece in a way that expressed my own feelings at the time. How is this accomplished? As I said above, at this school one develops a musician's ear. By the time I graduated, I could tell minute differences in intonation that signaled different emotions. Listening to music, regardless of who is playing, and then being able to make sense of what one is actually hearing is a rare and powerful gift that I was given by the Gorin School of Music.
The Gorin School is much more than just a school. It is a musical community where no matter which way you look, you can see a love of music right on everyone's face. The School has a learning atmosphere in which everyone is encouraged to share their love of music in their own way, and no one's thoughts are discounted. I can honestly say the faculty's main priority is developing this love of music in students so that when students leave or graduate, they have the ability to enjoy music as a medium of expression and individuality. All of the faculty care personally about the development of their students not just as musicians but also as people, giving students great opportunity to flourish. My piano teacher, and director of the School, Mrs. Rufina Gorin is one of the very biggest influences in my life, and over my time at the School became one of my dearest friends and mentors. I really cannot say enough about the Gorin School of Music, but in short it is a wonderful place, and time or experiences at the School are extremely valuable.
My two children have been getting piano lessons at The Gorin School of Music for over a year and a half (they are now six and nine years old). They are learning music theory from their teacher, Marina Madoyan, and are also taking an ear training class there at this time. I love this school. The teachers are just outstanding--they all have advanced degrees in music and, just as important, they are great with young kids (kind and warm, but still maintaining high standards for each of the children). This is a serious school and I can clearly see the results in my kids. They are learning rapidly. The school offers lessons for a wide variety of instruments, but is relatively small and therefore has a pleasant, intimate atmosphere. The parents and kids get to know each other through the recitals and classes and it feels like a little community. The attrition rate is low because once you come here, you get attached to the teachers and the school.
As a graduated former Student of the Gorin School of Music in Piano, flute, Voice, and Theory, I have spent the majority of my life recieving instruction from the school. As well as being a remarkable teacher, Rufina, my piano teacher and director of the school, has become a very dear friend and mentor to other parts of my life. The Gorin School of Music is a place where expert teachers instruct students to become professional-level performers. Classes are private and rigorous, demanding that the student practice every day in order to meet expectations. Teachers are focused and very friendly, always ready to offer help in any way they can. The atmosphere is non-competitive; students are encouraged to become the best they can be rather than better than anyone else. Teachers are also very adaptive, able to modify lessons to meet the needs and restrictions of their various students.
Every few months the school holds concerts where students are encouraged to show their family and friends how much they have advanced. The concerts have a relaxed atmosphere and no pressure is placed on the students to out perform eachother. Having been in close to 100 of these concerts from my first to last years at GSM, I have witnessed that the older, more advanced students act as inspiration, showing the newer students what their potential is and encouraging them to work towards becoming excellent performers.
I would recommend that anyone wishing to learn a new instrument, or even just to advance one they know a little farther, should seriously consider attending the Gorin School of Music. It is an outstanding music school.