Over the last 30 years creator of Tales of a Musical Journey method books for beginners Irina Gorin has established a reputation as one of the most prominent piano pedagogues for children in the United States and beyond. Tales of a Musical Journey is the culmination of Gorin’s vast education and teaching experience.
The series uniquely blend Russian and world’s teaching methods to prepare beginning piano students for a classical repertoire.
Translated into fourteen languages with more coming, tens of thousands of copies of this publication have been sold in more than sixty countries.
Irina Gorin was born in Kyiv, Ukraine. Studied at the Music College in Kyiv and Kharkiv Conservatory (Kharkiv National University of Arts named after I. P. Kotlyarevsky), the leading music and drama institution of higher education in Ukraine. She holds Master’s Degrees in Piano Performance, Piano Pedagogy, Chamber Ensemble, and Accompaniment.
Since 2013, Irina contributed to the enrichment of piano teachers by regularly conducting workshops, lectures, presentation and master classes, and judging at national and international piano competitions in many states of America, Canada, Puerto Rico, Italy, UK, Germany, Spain, Portugal, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia.
In order to showcase the talent of young pianists, Irina Gorin founded and served as President of the Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition, which has welcomed performers from all over the world since 2014. From 2020, Carmel Klavier was founded in Columbia as Carmel Klavier Latin America and in London as Carmel Klavier Europe.
Unique approach to pedagogy
Written in a form of a chapter book, Tales of a Musical Journey uses fairy tale setting and characters to introduce and expand musical concepts. In the series, the young minds are set on a journey through fictitious musical land, where they become friends with the inhabitants of the land.
Entertaining and logically interconnected stories develop a young student’s understanding and appreciation of music and piano playing. Comprehensive analogies with the fairy tale characters and their adventures make studying complicated techniques easy and fun. Ear training exercises and theory activities further train and develop young musical ears.
Musicality is an essential component in teaching music. Starting at the first lesson, the students begin to recognize the nuances in music. Throughout the series, the music comes alive with expression and artistry as the student learns the music in the context of the fairytale stories.
To develop the right technical habits, students need to learn the touch, reading notation, listening, and finally combining all of the aforementioned skills together. This series provides the path for a steady progress and fail-proof achievement of those skills.
The primary focus
The primary focus of the first year of studying the piano is learning necessary technical skills through freedom and flexibility of all upper body parts: shoulders, arms, wrists, and fingers.
Devoted exclusively to non-legato playing, the first book teaches the correct touch and tone production starting with a single note. Once the basic skills are acquired, new aspects of piano playing are added. The rhythm is introduced and developed through clapping, marching, and counting out loud. Once the rhythmic pulse is grasped, the student with ease learns the time values of the notes.
The series present theoretical materials in an attractive easily understood form. First, the students learn the geography of the keyboard and location of keys. Then, the students are introduced to musical notation one note at a time through songs and hands-on exercises and activities.
Method for beginners
The series primarily target 4-7 year old beginners. However, older students will benefit from it too. Books 1 and 2 cover the span of the first year of study and will sufficiently prepare all for playing the classical repertoire.
This series should not be used for self-taught purposes. The success may only be achieved under a guidance of a trained piano teacher and a watchful eye of an involved parent.