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Teacher Spotlight: Deanna Rusnock

Life-long piano student Deanna Rusnock started her Yamaha education at age 6, and now is starting her own group lessons this fall! Here's a Q&A to get to know her.

Q: Tell us about yourself! Where are you from, how old are you, how long have you been coming to Yamaha?

A: I was born in Arizona and I've lived here for the entire span of my 18-year-old life. I started coming to Yamaha at the age of 6; they still haven't figured out how to get rid of me even after 12 years! :)

Q: What is your favorite thing about playing and learning the piano?

A: I have to say that I think my favorite thing about the piano is the theory; I really love understanding the music theory behind what I play so that I can play the music better. The theory is also completely applicable to lots of other instruments! I love to play the piano because you can get so many different emotions all dependent on how you touch the keys!

Q: Do you have a favorite song to play?

A: Well, I have to admit I have a favorite composer at the moment; I love to play waltzes and nocturnes by Chopin! Each one is different an beautiful in a different way!

Q: Do you play any instruments other than piano?

A: I play the flute, guitar, violin, viola, bass, drums, accordion, ukulele, trumpet, slide trombone, and mallet percussion. Music theory is COMPLETELY transferable to any other instrument; as long as you can figure out how to hold it, the rest is just theory. :)

Q: You’ve made some big accomplishments lately. Tell me about the exams and certifications you’ve taken, and what does that mean in your continued music instruction?

A: I took the Yamaha Fundamental and Grade 5 exams last spring, which enables me to teach group lessons at Yamaha, and this past summer I attended Yamaha's Seminar A. Seminar A is a week-long seminar that teaches teachers how to teach! I learned a lot and had a lot of fun experiencing what kinds of techniques other teachers had used and I find myself using some of them now! I was also admitted to Arizona State University's Herberger Institute of the Arts and declared my Major as Musical Composition. I can't wait to keep learning!

Q: What’s in the future for you? Tell me about your immediate plans and what is your 10 year plan?

A: Immediate plans would be to finish college, then go back to college and get a masters and eventually PhD in Conducting and Composition (well, that might end up turning into a 10-year plan) as well as practice piano like a maniac. In 10 years I hope to be working as an active composer, teacher, and conductor in the valley!

Q: What would be advice you would give to a new piano player?

A: SING! SING! SING! If you are starting to play piano you need to SING EVERYTHING you play! If you can sing what you are trying to play, that means your brain knows it! And if your brain knows it, you've won more than half the battle; now your brain just needs to tell your fingers how to play it! But be patient with your fingers, because they're learning too, just like you and your brain. :)

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