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Conversations with Katarina Ruvidic

Katarina Ruvidic is a piano teacher with more than six years of experience, teaching all ages and levels, from beginners to advanced students. In her classes she presents various musical styles to keep even the smallest music students interested. Katarina provides the foundation for learning with individualised lesson plans. In addition, Katarina is a music therapist with two years of experience in developing music therapy knowledge with diverse patients.

What was the first thing that got you interested in music?

Since I can remember, I always listened to music at home. I loved to sing and
dance while I was discovering different musical styles that my parents introduced me too.

Who inspired you to make music?

In kindergarten, we had music classes, and I was always impressed with the teacher
when she was playing the piano. When I got home, I used to “play” the radiator, while imagining that it was a piano, singing, and giving music lessons to my parents. Then when I was six years old
I would dance while listening to my cousin play the piano, imagining that the movements I was creating an energy that was connecting with the music.

Where and how did you win your biggest prize?

My biggest prize was the laureate (overall winner) In the “Nikolai Rubinstein” contest in Paris, also in the international pianist contest “Davorin Jenko” in Serbia. But my favorite is from 2009, when I won a special award for the best sonata performance by F.J. Haydn at the “International Pianist Competition” in Serbia, where I was also the overall winner of the contest.

How would you describe your lessons?

I always adapt the musical classes and styles with respect to the person I am with working with. Carl Maria von Weber said “Music is the true universal language”, so it is a powerful tool that allows us to transmit and exchange energy, emotions, moods. It opens a new door for us, a new space where we are creating an atmosphere that allows us to feel free and in contact with the inner world of oneself.

Of your concerts, which one have you enjoyed the most and why?

The truth is that I always enjoy the moments when I give the concert, and each one is
special for me. But I remember that in one of my first concerts that I gave at the Academy
Serbia de Ciencias e Arte
, I felt very happy before giving the concert, because it was the first time all my family and friends were able to come.

What famous musicians do you admire?

It is a difficult question, because I admire each one. It’s not easy being a musician, it never has been. Musicians always had difficult times, their art was often not accepted. Dating back to
the Mozart era, or in the Stravinsky era when he performed his ballet and concert
orchestral “The Ritual of Spring”. People find it hard to accept new, innovative things, which
makes sense too, because when we’re used to certain types, everything that’s
new challenges our limits, we need time to get out of the bubble and digest it. So
I admire each musician and his music, because being a musician is a creative risk, equally a
vocation that should have no limits.

When did you find out that you wanted to be a music teacher?

When my sister turned two, I wanted to teach her to play the piano. From that
moment, the desire was born, and I always thought that one day all the knowledge and the
experience I have, all the tricks and wisdom received from the best masters, I want to share
with my future students.

What advice do you have for piano lovers who are starting to study the instrument?

Everyone deserves to have the opportunity to learn to play any instrument,
regardless of age and abilities. I always believe that when desire is what
guides us, everything can be learned. The learning process is very nice, although sometimes
it can be frustrating. You have to be persistent, believe and enjoy the process.

How do you think the internet has impacted on music teaching?

Lately I have been seeing the ads “How to learn to play piano in x days”. So I wonder, why did I go to school and learn to play the piano for 15 years, when could I do it in x days? Apart from this, I think the internet is offering us many good and significant things, especially now with the current situation, where the the internet makes it easier for us to continue giving classes online.

Do you think music can be good for people’s health?

“Music is the most direct art, it enters through the ear and goes to the heart.” Magdalena Martinez
Music is one of the main engines of feelings and reactions, due to the brain activity that it creates in people. Music reduces stress, and gives a feeling of tranquility that allows you to acquire the necessary comfort to be able to carry out various activities. It is proven that music has a direct influence on emotions and people’s moods. Plus it boosts learning, increases concentration,
and much more.

Can you explain Music Therapy a little?

If we are talking about music therapy, it is very important to distinguish it from music lessons, where you study an instrument. Music in this case, is used as a tool for therapy depending on the health diagnosis of the client or in specific areas for rehabilitation. The therapeutic objectives and methods are then organised according to the needs of the person receiving music therapy. Any activity with music becomes much more bearable and enjoyable.

Does music help improve the health and mood of people? Why?

Yes, music helps improve health and mood, this is scientifically proven. First, music releases dopamine, which stimulates the subcortical brain circuit in charge of generating responses on an emotional level. One more benefit is that music reduces stress, because it produces a series of chemicals in the brain that help achieve total relaxation and relieve tension, thus promoting calmer breathing and a feeling of well-being. When one is listening to some song that moves you, instantly you begin to sing, dance, laugh, and likewise, your mood (and motivation) are lifted in a very simple and natural way.

Katarina provides piano lessons for children, as well as music therapy sessions at the Shine Music School in Barcelona and online.

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