By Joana Mendez, Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts
He is known for his energy in class and his dedication towards his craft. He has gained international
praise for his talents and has sold out concert hal s across the nation. More than anything else, RPHS
Piano Instructor Vladimir Zaitsev is a teacher who is passionate about educating his students on piano.
When it comes to teaching piano, Mr. Zaitsev is accustomed to students entering his classroom already a
lit le familiar with the art of playing piano. In fact, many incoming students audition to get into RPHS's
piano program. However, this year is a lit le bit different as Mr. Zaitsev is giving lessons to a group of
students who have never played piano before or even played an instrument for that mat er.
These students are new to RPHS and are under the daily guidance of Mr. Al en TenHoeve. These new
students never picked piano as a major. However, Fine Arts Department Chairperson Michel e Van
Hoven thought it would be helpful for them to learn piano and discover a new art form.
So far, the decision was the right one. The students are enjoying the experience and Mr. Zaitsev seems
to be up to the chal enge. "The class combines visual and physical learning and creativity at a flexible
pace for them. It also stretches Mr. Zaitsev as a teacher and gives the students the opportunity to be in
a class they wouldn't be normal y," said Ms. Van Hoven.
Freshman Jordy Zapata enjoys what he's learning. "I'm happy to be in this school and I enjoy the piano
lesson. I'm learning a lot and see that if I practice, it is not so hard," said Jordy. Mr. TenHoeve is happy
with what he's seeing. "Mr. Zaitsev has a nice sense of humor, and he makes the students look forward
to his class. He's an excel ent teacher," explained Mr. TenHoeve.
Mr. Zaitsev is having a blast with his new class. "I feel honored to give them this kind of experience,
and as a teacher I feel a bit chal enged because I get to experiment with new teaching styles." It's true
that Mr. Zaitsev's new students are discovering new talents. It's also clear that they are benefiting from
his piano class in more ways than one.