Our 8 year old son has been on a musical journey with Dasha for the past two years. Dasha is that rare combination of a talented musician in her own right and a gifted teacher who her students love and respect. It was readily apparent to us from the beginning that music inspires her. She actively promotes the classical music community both as a performer and as an educator. I have witnessed her come alive each week during lessons. She believes and consistently conveys to her students that they are capable of making beautiful and heartfelt music and so expects the very best from them. One cannot ask for more in a teacher.
Dasha Gabay is a wonderfully warm and insightful teacher who is encouraging and motivating. Dasha is and has been my daughter's piano teacher since my daughter was 6 and a half. She is 11 years old now and is thriving in her piano studies and in her relationship with Dasha. She is firm yet gentle, authentic yet loving - teaching detailed techniques with beautiful musicality. The joy she feels for music and her genuine love for children creates an enjoyable atmosphere for her pupils and her desire to create something beautiful though music is infectious and is obvious in her students. I am thrilled with the progress my daughter has made in her piano studies under Dasha Gabay's tutelage. Dasha Gabay is someone my daughter respects, admires, trusts and loves. Our family is very grateful to have found Dasha and to have her as my daughter's piano teacher.
Dasha puts an incredible amount of energy into all aspects of her teaching. Her passion for the piano and classical music is infectious. It is refreshing to work with a teacher who holds even relative young and beginner students to a professional standard, so no bad habits are formed. Dasha ensures that all her students have a strong foundation in terms of tempo, dynamics, sight reading, hand position and posture. For example, shortly after our daughter started studying with Dasha I could see visible improvement in terms of her hand position.
Dasha has been my piano instructor for over 15 years, and counting. While an instructor-student relationship of such duration is noteworthy, it is probably not remarkable. Except for this -- I came to Dasha as a 48 year old man who had never played any musical instrument. Yes, I loved music. But that love was confined to listening. I would think being presented with this “clean slate” student would have challenged any piano instructor. That Dasha is still teaching me, and perhaps more surprising, that I am still playing, is I think quite a testament to her patience and understanding – not to mention skills -- as an instructor. It has been a great experience for me.
I have been playing the piano for more than 40 years. My son is studying with Mrs. Dasha, and I have also been taking her lessons from time to time for about 6 years. Although it's impossible, if I could have taken her piano lessons when I was a child, I'm sure I would have been a much better player. I think my son is very lucky to have such a great teacher.
Dasha introduced middle C to my daughter and later my son, and ever since, my children look forward to their lessons every week. Dasha is kind and knowledgeable, and she can relate to children very well. My children adore her. She is a great piano teacher!
Ms. Dasha is a wonderful teacher who is amazingly patient and has the ability to help me building up my technique as well as bringing out the music in me.
I was not the best student. Sometimes, I use rather original fingering; but Mrs. Gabay always knew what would work and what wouldn't. Often I would merely try to learn a piece mechanically. She would always push me to find the dynamics. Of all my teachers, Mrs. Gabay was the best at making feel half an hour's worth of daily practice feel entirely inadequate. There was always more to do. There are some pieces (Mozart's A minor sonata, and Beethoven's first sonata) which I could never have mastered without her help, and others (especially Mendelssohn's Opus 67 no.2) which I would not have had the patience to learn, had she not apprised me of their difficulty. Of the four piano teachers who have taught me, Mrs. Gabay was the best.
I began studying piano for the first time in my life a few years ago, at age 59. I had seriously studied another instrument for many years before that, but there was very little “transferability” of skills to my new instrument, the piano. Piano is a difficult instrument for any student, but especially those who begin later in life. And yet, I have come to love playing the piano, in significant part because of my lessons with Dasha. My earlier musical studies gave me a sense of what I need from a music teacher: An expert on the instrument and its repertoire who can give concrete, specific advice on improving technique while bringing out the musical treasures in good compositions, all while setting high standards and providing encouragement to help a student meet those standards. Dasha Gabay meets all of those objectives superbly. She is an outstanding, experienced pianist and a great musician, having been trained in a superior, comprehensive musical education system. She understands piano technique and is able to explain pathways to improvement in direct, simple ways. She has a wonderful ear for how to play compositions so as to bring out their great musical essence, and a gift for communicating the musicality of a piece to students. She insists upon the use of proper technique, but does so in a way that is always encouraging and positive. The bottom line is that I have never enjoyed playing music more than since beginning my studies with Dasha. I look forward to our lessons, always enjoy them, and always take away from them valuable guidance and the desire to improve.
Dasha is the most brilliant teacher we have used for our ten children’s piano lessons over these last 25 years. The teachers we used prior to Dasha, forced us to keep searching for a better teacher. When we discovered Dasha, through a friend who heads Peabody Conservatory’s opera department, we knew we had the best instructor. We have been with Dasha for more than ten years. Our family has the greatest respect and admiration for her abilities. She eagerly, but patiently, teaches anyone with any goal. We require our children learn piano for cerebral development, as well as for its usefulness in social settings. Some of our children have proceeded to win music competitions while others, such as our learning disabled children, have progressed wonderfully despite their mental handicaps. Dasha was most capable of working with our children at both ends of the spectrum. Dasha has an amazing combination of qualities in that she is interested, resourceful, conscientious and driven to help the student of any background learn to read music and play the piano. Most music teachers push the student to learn from the various musical periods. Our family preferred to work only in the Baroque and Classical periods and Dasha happily accommodated us. She was principally interested in the mechanics of playing the music on the piano as the composer had written the piece. We loved this approach since it enabled our children to enjoy the music they preferred. Dasha is a gold mine to whoever is lucky enough to secure her.
The four years during which I learned from Dasha was incredible. I started out with a basic knowledge of reading music and no musicality or technique whatsoever. Over the four years that I learned from her, I found myself improving considerably each year and I believe she created a solid foundation for a lifetime of music. I started out as someone who could play piano music and came out as a musician. She is a great teacher; without her raising her voice to me even once, she somehow compelled me to give it my best and constantly challenge myself in order to not disappoint her. She really cared for me as a student, and you could see this from the little details in the way that she taught. If one is looking for a lifelong teacher and friend, you cannot find someone better than Dasha.
My daughter's progress really took off after she had become Dasha's student. Today my daughter takes up much more complex pieces, even then her playing became so much more clean and mature. I observed a marked difference compared to the years she took classes with another instructor. To be sure, Dasha is a demanding teacher. Being her student takes a lot of commitment, but the results speak (or sound?) for themselves. This seems to be true of other Dasha's students whom I heard at many Levin recitals. At the same time, every semester my daughter gets a sense of a true accomplishment that is tremendously satisfying. Practicing is hard, but my daughter never misses an opportunity to play piano and looks forward to taking up more and more challenging pieces. I very much doubt that my daughter will ever play piano professionally, but I think she would always enjoy it. More importantly, she has learned some important life skills, such as overcoming obstacles, meeting deadlines, and doing her best under pressure. To me this is more important than just music skills.
Our son has been taking piano lessons with Dasha for just over one year. In the beginning, Our son had some knowledge in basic piano technique but was in need of improving his focus and discipline. During the initial few months, Dasha developed an excellent rapport with our son and instilled in him the need for regular practice and where to focus his attention. This was supported by several opportunities to participate in recitals, which is essential to experience the reward of regular practice. He has now performed in three recitals and consequently, our son’s overall ability and confidence have dramatically improved. More importantly, we notice his musical ability beginning to develop beyond basic technical ability. I would strongly recommend Dasha for anyone looking for tutoring using traditional approaches in classical piano.
As a choir director, piano has always been one of my weakest skills. I am able to read the music and know what it should sound like but I have a difficult time getting my fingers to make the music happen. This is a unique situation and I have often been nervous working with piano teachers because of it. I absolutely love being one of Dasha's adult students! In the past six months, my practice techniques, sight-reading and abilities have grown in ways they never did when I was a tired music student in college. Dasha's choices of repertoire, her patience, wise words and teaching techniques are so helpful. I've never considered myself able to play piano but I can't wait to continue my studies with her and see how I continue to grow as a pianist!
To say that Dasha is a dedicated teacher would be an understatement. My son (now 13) has been studying piano with Dasha for nearly 2 years, and we have witnessed tremendous progress since he started. His playing is much more mature technically and musically, and he is learning to pay attention and work on details, something I think many kids at the keyboard do not learn to pay attention to. What is striking is Dasha's incredible memory: despite having many students, she remembers every detail, from every piece of music, down to the measures. I believe this impeccable memory in not just a talent, but a reflection of her intention and commitment to teaching. She takes teaching and learning very seriously, inspiring students (and parents) to do the same. The reward from hard work is a gift, especially for a child. One learns how to set goals, figure out the basics (fingering, rhythm, articulation, etc.) and work methodologically. Most importantly, they learn to really LISTEN--to phrasing, balance, dynamics, and gradually find one's voice and artistic expression. In a fast-moving world with many instant gratifications, learning with Dasha has taught our son so much more than piano playing. We are deeply grateful.