Solfeggio and Music Theory
“If you can hear it, you can play it.” Jermaine Griggs
“When I look at a score, I hear the sounds. And when I hear the sounds, I know how to produce these tone colours.” Anne-Sophie Mutter:
Solfeggio is a musical subject which aims at developing aural skills, which are vital for all musicians. It has always been an integral and compulsory part of the music curriculum in Russian and Eastern European music schools and colleges. In solfeggio lessons children are taught to internalize musical elements - from the simplest; such as pitch, rhythm and intervals to more advanced; such as chromaticism, modulations and harmonic progressions - through singing, listening, moving, playing simple percussion instruments and fulfilling written tasks, including music dictations. Solfeggio helps to open up and develop the students' innate musicality, establishes a strong music foundation and deepens their understanding of music. It is taught in small groups and provides a fun hands-on social experience that enhances the child's instrumental playing as well as boosting their confidence on stage.
Alicja Herma is a passionate and energetic conductor of a young generation. As a child she fell in love with the sound of the violin and started learning the instrument at the age of 6. She joined the school orchestra at age of 10 and an soon after, she had already decided that she wanted to be a conductor. Every step Alicja has taken since, has been to bring her closer to fulfilling this dream. She studied conducting in Poznan, Poland with Jerzy Kosek, Warcislaw Kunc, Jerzy Salwarowski and Przemyslaw Neuman, as well as in Lucerne, Switzerland with Howard Arman. During and after she has developed her skills attending masterclasses with Yoav Talmi, Tadeusz Strugala, Howard Griffiths, Luis Clemente, Roberto Friore. She has worked with orchestras and ensembles in Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy and the United Kingdom, conducting diverse genres of repertoire, including core classical, modern, first performances and techno/electronic.
Alicja finds working with young people extremely interesting and rewarding, introducing them to the witchcraft of orchestral playing. She is also passionate about teaching solfeggio, music theory and other academic music disciplines. She held a position of Musician-in-Residence at the Purcell School in the United Kingdom, where she continued to use and develop her skills.
Alicija joined the RMA in 2019.
Growing up in Siberia, Nadja began her music studies at a local music school aged 6, and attended Music college in her hometown from the age of 15. By the end of her studies there she was offered a scholarship to the Gnessin college in Moscow, and after graduating from it, she gained a place to study Musicology at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. Following this, she completed a three-year postgraduate course there with Distinction. At the Conservatoire she also studied harpsichord, enjoying playing both solo and in ensembles. She began teaching music history and solfeggio while doing her postgraduate studies, and taught these subjects in various music schools, including The Central Music School for gifted children and the Junior department of the Moscow Conservatoire. She also taught the Conservatoire’s undergraduate singers.
After she moved to London, Nadja taught privately until accepting a position of solfeggio and music theory teacher at the RMA (then known as the LRMS) in 2013. In the same year she enrolled at King’s College London for the Masters Degree course in music, which she completed in 2019 with Distinction. Her other interests include reading, child psychology, visiting art galleries and museums, painting, philosophy and translating.
With her wealth of knowledge, experience and passion for teaching, Nadja has made it possible for her numerous pupils to acquire a strong foundation in solfeggio and music theory which greatly enhanced their instrumental studies and helped them to feel more confident on stage. She has an outstanding record of teaching students across all ages and abilities.
Nadja has been overseeing the Solfeggio and Music Theory Department work for the last five years and took part in preparing and translating the Solfeggio syllabus. She has also been giving masterclasses in teaching solfeggio and has been very generous in sharing her knowledge and expertise with the new teachers.
Amiran frequently appears as a concert soloist and in chamber music ensembles in public recitals and concerts in Russia, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Spain, USA (incl. Carnegie Hall), and the United Kingdom (incl. Wigmore Hall, St.James Piccadilly Church, Steinway Hall, London) and successfully combines extensive teaching career with performing.
He started studying piano at the age of five at the Gnessin Special Music College, Moscow under the guidance of Professors Ada Traub and Tatiana Vorobieva, and in 2009 continued his education at the Central Music School (College) of Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory as a student of Professor Alexander Mndoyants. During his studies in Russia, he became a prizewinner of many international competitions (incl. VIIth Concorso Internazionale Valsesia Musica juniors (Varallo, Italy, 2006) – 1st Prize, VIIIth International Balys Dvarionas Competition for Young Pianists and Violinists (Vilnius, Lithuania, 2008) – Grand Prix etc) and received a special scholarship from the Government of the Russian Federation.
After graduating from the Central Music School with Highest Honours in June 2013 Amiran was admitted to the Royal Academy of Music with full entrance scholarship, where he studied on the Bachelor of Music and then the Master of Arts programme with Professors Christopher Elton and Joanna MacGregor CBE. Amiran completed both degrees with First Class and achieved prestigious DipRAM award for an outstanding final recital as well as LRAM teaching diploma. His most important recent public appearances include the Finals of the Jaques Samuel Pianos Intercollegiate Piano Competition (held at Wigmore Hall, October 2014), the Piano Festival of the Royal Academy of Music (July 2016, 2018, 2019), Encuentro de Musica Festival in Santander, Spain (July 2016&July 2017), and the 9th Chopin Birthday Concerts Festival in Warsaw, Poland (February 2018). In April 2018 he was invited by the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Mexico, to perform a concerts series and give piano and chamber music masterclasses.
In 2019 Amiran was appointed Hodgson Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music for the 2019-2020 academic year where he was one of the youngest teachers at the Academy teaching Score Reading, Song Accompaniment and Sight-reading for pianists. At present he continues to teach various classes for pianists at the Academy as well as being an RMA teacher since 2019. In the RMA Amiran teaches piano performance, music theory, solfeggio as well as his own designed course of harmony based on the distinguished traditions of P. I. Tchaikovsky, S. Taneev, N. Rimsky-Korsakov. His students are very successful in various competitions, concerts, festivals as well as in ABRSM grade exams.
Amiran is also very fond of conducting and has a strong interest in historical keyboards.