"Although technique is an essential part of playing, it needs to serve the bigger purpose of making music."
“I try to bring joy into learning the piano and to create a great atmosphere, but I would lie if I said there was no discipline involved if someone wants to learn to play piano,” says Anna Khanina as she reflects on her approach to teaching.
Anna believes that every student has his or her own needs and crafts an individual approach to each of her students to address those needs. “I take the time and make sure to work out the right strategy for everyone in my studio. It is my responsibility to provide students with strong fundamentals. Pianistic technique is not only about velocity, but also about the production of sound.” Beyond any technique, Anna believes that music-making is the central goal of learning the piano or any musical instrument.
Anna was born and raised in Moscow, Russia before the family emigrated to Germany. After years of effort, Anna moved to Chicago to study with Professor Solomon Mikowsky, whom she had met at a competition in Spain. She earned a Certificate of Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts. She moved to New York where she earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Hearing her mother play the piano when she was very young, Anna began her piano study at age four. By the time she was five, she had already been accepted at the Gnesin Special Music School.
An accomplished solo performer, Anna also loves playing chamber music. “Only chamber music gives the opportunity to work with different musicians. It is so interesting to collaborate, to share ideas, to try out different interpretations and then to make decisions about which one would be the best—to listen to each other and to discover new music.”
Speaking three languages fluently (Russian, German, and English), Anna is grateful for what that has represented. “I am glad that I had the opportunity to live in such countries and study in all of them.”