Valentina Nazarenko


As a music educator, I have found that combining classical training and improvisation, which I introduce to my students from the beginning to advanced levels, helps them to not only develop technical skills and performing abilities, but to access higher levels of artistic expression.

Valentina's earliest memories of music are listening to Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish folk songs as a child in her native Ukraine.

She had an extensive formal education in music that spans a B.A. from the Kiev State Music College and a Master of Music from the Odessa State Conservatory, with a special concentration on solo piano, pedagogy, chamber music, and accompaniment.

Since coming to the USA, she first studied jazz at The Mannes College of Music, and then continued in collaboration with a renowned jazz pianist and teacher Connie Crothers, close associate of Lennie Tristano.  Valentina authored papers on music and life of the 20th century composers.  Her current research interests encompass innovative teaching theories, classical music and jazz.

At BMS, Valentina employs a flexible, creative and customized educational approach that work for each student age and stage of development.  Her teaching combines a solid foundation in ear training, sight-reading, music fundamentals, music history, classical piano curriculum and spontaneous improvisation as the basis for students to develop higher-level artistic interpretations, personal piano technique and true individual expression.