I have been studying piano and music theory with Rachel for the past six and a half years, and I am in the process of preparing for my grade 8 piano exam. I am currently 21, so I started my lessons later in life than most people. However, Rachel’s teaching has allowed me to progress quicker than I ever thought possible. Piano started out as a leisurely hobby for me, and like many kids, I did not enjoy practicing. But Rachel’s enthusiasm, knowledge, and love of music have inspired me in so many ways, and influenced my own path in life. I am now studying music in university because I have gained such an appreciation and understanding of music through Rachel. She is dedicated, hard-working, and very devoted to her students, and expects the same in return. She challenges her students and believes they are capable of more than they know. She helps not only with what is written on the sheet of music, but also with what is not: the history and context of a composer, the technique and theory involved, and the emotions of the piece. Although learning any instrument can often be frustrating, learning music with Rachel as a teacher is very rewarding. You can’t wait to hear her say, after several hard weeks of practice, “good job!” It is clear that the goal is not to have a student work mindlessly towards an exam, but rather, to learn and understand music on a profound level, so as to keep this musical ability for a lifetime. Rachel is an excellent piano teacher in all respects, and I count myself extremely lucky to study with her.
Rachel has been teaching my two daughters since 2008 and both girls have excelled due to the caring nature that Rachel brings to the piano practicum and theory. Rachel is very patient with each student’s learning and goes beyond curriculum expectations, depending on the students’ performance capabilities. Rachel provides a harmonious environment, she aids the student through her positively nurturing character, yet is firm when necessary. I would recommend Rachel to any student who would like to learn the piano and/or the theory.
My name is Bev and I have been studying piano under Rachel Newallo-Huang for the past 5 years. For many years I thought about taking lessons, however at the age of 51 decided it was time to start learning. I studied the accordion as a child for 7 years so I had a good understanding of reading music but was only versed at playing the right hand and not the left. Back then I studied the Royal Conservatory curriculum and was not interested in pursuing this avenue again. My goal was to learn to play Moonlight Sonata. Rachel was very willing to accommodate this. While I tend to pick my own pieces Rachel will often suggest other pieces for the purpose of developing different techniques, however I do pick what I enjoy listening to. Rachel is a very talented, knowledgeable and patient teacher. She has a very calming demeanor. I sometimes get very frustrated with myself but she works with me and never makes me feel inadequate even when I haven’t practiced as much as I should have at home. She understands that life gets in the way. In the few years that I have been studying under Rachel, I have progressed considerably. I started with Happy Birthday and have moved forward into more complex pieces such as Prelude in E minor. I certainly have far surpassed the level of Moonlight Sonata and am playing pieces around the grade 6 and 7 level. I feel very proud of myself in terms of how far I have come and the listening pleasure it gives me. I joke with my husband as he is always telling me to do brain exercises like he does with crosswords and sudoku puzzles. I tell him try playing the piano. Right hand doing one thing, the left another, the pedal on the off beats. One really needs to focus to pull all of this together. Also my father is 88 yrs old and suffers from Alzheimer’s. Although we can no longer carry on conversations, I know he is deriving great pleasure from listening to me play. I really feel very fortunate that Rachel took me on as one of her many students. Some of her other mature students have said they have studied under other teachers and they too feel Rachel is one of the best teachers they have ever had.
I am an adult student and have taken lessons from Rachel for 6 years. When I was a child, I studied piano for 12 years. I then stopped playing for almost 30 years.
You are never too old to play again, especially if you have Rachel as a teacher. She is extremely patient and supportive. You will be amazed how quickly you learn. In a short time, Rachel will have you playing your favourite songs, and she makes it fun!
Being able to play again has brought me so much joy. If you have a chance to take lessons from Rachel, do it! She is the kind of teacher you find once in a lifetime — if you are lucky.
I have been a student of Rachel’s for over 5 years. I resumed my studies in piano in my mid 40s after being away for over 20 years. It had always been my goal to obtain my RCM Grade 8 Piano. This is the goal that I had when I was lucky enough to be taken on as a student by Rachel.Rachel is a truly gifted musician and a wonderful teacher. I feel very privileged to be studying under her tutelage. She is very passionate about teaching and playing the piano and I have always felt that I was receiving the very best possible instruction.I have successfully completed my Grade 8 RCM earlier this year and it is largely due to Rachel that I have decided to continue with my studies. She is an inspiration. Although at times very challenging, I have found my continuation in piano a great source of enjoyment.
At the age of 10, I was fortunate enough to have met Rachel, who was then a university student, through a church that we both attended. Ever since then, I have continued my piano education with her and I have come to know her both professionally and personally. I am now a university student myself and music continues to play a key role in my life. After completing levels 1 through 8 in the RCM program and obtaining several theory certificates, I chose to leave my studies in classical music and instead focused on being a pianist for my church. While I no longer receive lessons from Rachel under the RCM curriculum, I still actively seek her guidance in my other musical pursuits. On paper, Rachel is well qualified with excellent credentials from both the Royal Conservatory and the music program at York University, and in private lessons she is a fair and patient teacher who guides and motivates her students to be skilled pianists. Both of these aspects have proved that she is a very capable teacher but the best way she has always taught me is through example. I have never watched one of her performances without being motivated to be a better pianist myself. Her technical ability coupled with the emotion she portrays in her pieces is only further evidence of her love for the piano and her passion has continually inspired my own. I have grown up with piano and with Rachel as my teacher and as I came to know her better, she became a role model for me, not only in regards to piano but also in my own life.