Elif Allenfort is a wonderfully gifted piano instructor who provides a nurturing, constructive and structured environment for all of her students. Ms. Elif is an exceptional pianist and her passion for music, and specifically the piano, is evident in the way she plays and teaches. Ms. Elif sets fair, but high, expectations for her students in order to gently motivate them to become more proficient and skilled musicians. Ms. Elif understands that her students learn differently and she provides individualized instruction to ensure that each student excels. My daughter and Ms. Elif have formed a close bond and I love that my daughter has such a talented, educated woman in her daily life. I feel blessed to have found Ms. Elif… she truly is an extraordinary individual.
My daughter, Jenny, has studied piano with Elif for more than 6 years. After taking piano lessons for two years with another teacher, Jenny made a smooth transition to studying with Elif. Elif focuses on teaching music written by recognized “classical” composers. Elif works with Jenny on sight-reading each new piece of music. Typically, Jenny has 4-6 pieces in process at any given time: first, working on accurate notes and fingering, then tempo and dynamics, and finally conveying emotion through the piece. At her weekly piano lesson, Elif works with Jenny on all phases of the piece, spending the time necessary to polish each piece to its best. My daughter has progressed from an “early learner” to a mature pianist under Elif’s guidance. As a parent, I have been impressed with Elif’s professional manner, both in dealing with Jenny during lessons and when dealing with me regarding schedule changes. We have also had the opportunity to attend a performance starring Elif, which was strong motivation for my daughter to work hard at mastering technique on the piano. I highly recommend Elif as a piano teacher, especially for a student looking for doing more with the piano than master Disney tunes or Broadway musical scores.
On this earth, musicians abound. Among them, there is a comparatively small group of individuals with tremendous talent and nearly super human dedication to their art. There also exists an even smaller group of brilliant and inspiring music educators who may or may not have significant raw talent of their own. Elif Allenfort belongs to a yet even more rare breed of individual legitimately and comfortably belonging to both.
It has been my great privilege to enjoy Elif's performance talent first hand. She is quite the natural performer and yet, while she is truly an exceptional pianist, clearly dedicated to her craft, her most awe inspiring performances play out in a simple studio, seated next to a student in front of a piano. It is in those moments that she teaches so much more than notes and fingerings; phrasing and dynamics; posture and presence. In those moments, she molds a student to face difficulty and adversity; to dig deep and attack the challenge; and then celebrates the inevitable victory that she knows will come.
Learning any instrument comes with innumerable such challenges and victories. It is a journey that requires a watchful and attentive guide who knows the terrain well and will bring out the very best in each student; encouraging always, cajoling when necessary; but through it all, compassionately firm and insistent on progress. My daughter has found just such a guide in Elif. Whether or not she develops into a world class pianist is yet to be seen. However, whatever path her life might take in the years to come, her time with Elif has been valuable beyond measure and she will, no doubt, be a better human being for the experience.
For those who seek a true artist and educator who is fully invested in both her art and her students, teaching considerably more than "how to play piano;" you would, indeed, be hard pressed to find a better resource than Ms. Allenfort.
I heard of Elif through a friend and was so happy that she was able to take me as a student. I hadn't played piano regularly for years since I went away to college and she really helped me get back into it. I felt like I hadn't developed a strong foundation when I learned piano as a child and Elif really built on the skills that I had, taught me the importance of exercises and theory while making playing very enjoyable. She is able to cater to so many different types of students at different skill levels!
Our daughter Nikita was Elif’s student for 11 wonderful years starting when she was 6 years. Nikita took private solo piano lessons, 4 hand piano lessons, music theory, music history and studio classes; and played in numerous recitals. Every year, we would look forward to end of the year recital where Nikita played classical pieces to children’s favorites.
Elif is an excellent teacher and has taught Nikita, not just piano, but how to be a better performer. Elif, being a professional pianist taught Nikita more than just piano notes. She puts a lot of emphasis on developing the right techniques, sight reading and articulation; tutoring every step of the way, giving guidance and helping her when she needed emotional support. I was impressed how quickly Nikita progressed in her piano skills as she felt more confident every year. Elif’s teaching style is very encouraging for young children while providing them with plenty of challenges and opportunities to learn. Elif is not only friendly and patient, but also is good at gauging her student's level of knowledge and ability. Children of all ages feel very comfortable learning because Elif creates a very relaxed and nurturing environment for learning and how to perform on stage in front of an audience. Elif taught Nikita much more than piano. She taught her discipline, hard work, commitment and many other things laying a great foundation for any student who wants to progress in performing arts and beyond. We made a good decision when we decided to bring Nikita to Elif for piano lessons. I would highly recommend Elif for any student who wishes to learn how to play piano and enjoy for life.
Elif Allenfort is wonderful! I would not want any other piano teacher for my son and daughter. Elif brings energy, experience, knowledge and high expectations. She creates an environment and curriculum that focuses on appreciating music; much more than just playing notes. Her students are classically trained in piano, music theory and performance professionalism. Over the past eight years (and counting), Elif has had a profound, positive impact on my children. I recommend Elif for students who have a desire to play the piano and learn life lessons at the same time.
Elif has given my daughter and son piano lessons for 4+ years, from the very beginning when they were young children. I will never be able to thank her enough for teaching them not only discipline in their music practice, but also discipline in life. She pushes them to achieve more, adds a keen sense of humor and is herself an extremely accomplished pianist. I cannot recommend her enough!