“Music feeds my soul and mind, where words fail – music speaks. It is a presence of harmony and beauty in our world, an incredible energy that connects and unites people,” said teacher at the Mid-West Vocal Academy (MWVA) and well known pianist, organist and accompanist Irina Dernova.
Irina’s earliest memory of music was at around three years of age, “There was a lot of music on the radio, TV and tape-recorder, that I liked to listen to. My parents sang songs, and there was a piano in my crèche where a teacher played it almost every day for us.”
From her first music lesson Irina remembers seeing a grand piano for the first time as a very exciting and a magical experience, then listening as her teacher played a variety of sounds, and showed her chords and tunes, and she can still recall her first attempt to create a simple tune.
Now in her seventh year of teaching at the MWVA, originally from Russia where she studied music, Irina has worked as a piano teacher, piano performer, accompanist, repetiteur, composer, arranger, organist and choir director both in Russia and Ireland.
“As a musician who plays music on daily basis, and performs at concerts and other occasion, I love sharing all I know with young and not so young musicians, beginners and those who play for a while. It’s part of my life.
“For me, teaching is the process of discovering and unveiling of that special musical language and the instrument’s possibilities to my students. Finding out what music touches their hearts and enjoying it as much as they do, and helping them to learn how to read music and play by ear, and supporting their interest and ambitions.
“I love to help them to become able to express themselves, to become confident performers, it does not matter if it’s for sitting in a room in their house or for a talent show in their school, competitions or exams.
“It’s a great pleasure to help them to make steps towards learning the art of playing the piano, to broaden their knowledge of different aspects of playing the instrument and listening to and appreciating the music,” said Irina.
For Irina music has brought many friendships and lots of memorable moments and events into her life, by collaborating with other musicians and sharing precious moments of music playing and listening. She has also enjoyed crossing paths with very interesting and talented people.
“It’s very hard to imagine life without music, especially here in Ireland. Of course, one can just stay a listener, but it’s so much more exciting and gratifying to try the instrument, figure out how to make music on such a beautiful instrument as the piano, to learn a tune or a piece you love, or make your own music, or achieve the exam grades and have a life-long skill,” added Irina.