Naira Babayan was awarded a full scholarship for 12 years to the Tchaikovsky Music School for talented students, in Yerevan, Armenia. Naira holds her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Piano Performance from the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory, Master of Arts degree from Gnessin Academy of Music in Moscow, Russia, where she studied with Professor M. Gambaryan. Naira received her Doctorate from the International Academy of Science and Art, in Yerevan, Armenia.
Performance and Teaching Experience
For over 25 years, Naira has appeared in solo and chamber recitals in concert halls throughout the world. She has performed in venues such as, A. Khachaturian Concert Hall in Yerevan, Armenia, State Conservatory Concert Hall, Ministry of Friendship and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries Concert Hall and Chamber concert hall with the state chamber orchestra, Yerevan, Armenia. Naira was a guest performer of the Union of Armenia in Moscow. She won first prize at the Moscow Music Festival in 2005, performing a program by Rachmaninoff and Scriabin. Other concert appearances include performances at the Music Theatre “Amadeus” and several times in the Royal Concert Hall of the American University in Dubai and Sharjah, UAE. Naira has performed at the San Lazzaro-Hall of Mirrors in Venice, Italy, Armenian community music concert hall San Diego, Los Angeles, Mansion at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn, Church of Epiphany, Sandy Spring Museum and a guest performer at the Armenian Assembly of America and Armenian Embassy, Washington DC.
Naira Babayan is considered among many composers and musicologist, to be the most famous living interpreter at the piano of Armenian folkloric and classical repertoire. Her mentors were Edward Mirzoyan and Konstantin Orbelyan. “Naira’s exceptional talent and artistic approach to musical interpretation make her a clear stand out among many others, particularly her expressiveness, attention to the smallest musical details, unique style and technical virtuosity. She is an Armenian Treasure!” (Oleg Metrofanov, General Manager of the Musical Theatre of Amadeus, Moscow)
Naira has had 2 CDS of solo piano recordings by Chopin, Debussy, and Armenian composers released by the Union composers of Armenia. Naira has worked as a deputy director and chair of the music department of the Sebastian Cultural Center, Yerevan, Armenia. She was a professor of Piano at the music department of the State Pedagogical University in Yerevan Armenia for six years. Naira also taught at the Royal College, in Dubai, UAE.
Naria has been on the Levine faculty since 2007 where she teaches private piano instruction.
“My favorite aspect of being in the faculty of Levine is organizational level of the piano faculty. I am surrounded by professional musicians that I work and perform with. The faculty also gives me the opportunity to share my knowledge and own Armenian culture.”
Teaching Philosophy and Approach
“The first question that I considered while formulating my philosophy was, ‘Why? What is the purpose of teaching music?’ Unlike many other professions, the gratification from teaching music comes in a form other than a paycheck. In my opinion, the most important reason to teach music is to pass it along. By sharing music with others, it is possible to make others as passionate about it as you are. Even if a student cannot play very well, it is still important to help him to understand and appreciate music and its importance in his life. Another purpose of teaching music is to give students something they can succeed at through practice, which provides them with a sense of purpose and pride. Additionally, music is very important in the overall educational system. Music programs are essential because they help students to develop skills such as time management, communication, patience and perseverance. Also, for many students, music helps them to express themselves in ways that sitting in a classroom all day never could. Music classes can be considered a healthy break from academics in a school day. In general, the purpose of music education is to teach a universal language to students that they will be able to use no matter where they are, for the rest of their lives.
Next it is important to consider to whom music should be taught and the role of the student in a musical classroom. I believe that music should be taught to anyone and everyone without exception. Music truly is a universal language and I believe that with enough creativity it can be taught to anyone who is willing to learn it. A student with a disability or even a student who does not speak English can be taught the fundamentals of music and be able to appreciate its significance. Since music is a form of expression, it is very important for students to have an open mind when approaching it. Since not all students come into a music classroom with this kind of mindset, it is my job to connect with them and make them interested in learning music. Although it is the responsibility of the student to practice in order to improve, it is mostly the responsibility for me as a teacher to motivate his or her students and make them want to practice and improve their skills.”
When not teaching or performing, Naria enjoys her time as an active member of the Armenian Assembly of America.