My name is Heli. I was born in Estonia – a country where in difficult times people have always maintained their identity and language through singing.
I was 9 years old when The Singing Revolution started to evolve. It felt to me as if music made people stronger and gave them almost magical courage to speak out. I was intrigued and started studying piano to investigate the power of sound. My studies in Tartu Lastemuusikakool and Tartu Heino Elleri nim. Muusikakool inspired me to reach higher and further. Next to music grew my passion for learning foreign languages and to test both skills it was time to move.
In 1996 I continued my studies with Prof. Jiri Hlinka in Griegakademiet, Bergen, Norway. Jiri has a wonderful skill of decoding the score into such minimalistic details, passing it on to the student, so that while she or he is playing there is no time to be nervous, but simply be one with the music. Prof. Hlinka opened the door for me to experience the power of music on bigger stages such as Grieghallen with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Troldsalen in Edvard Grieg Museum. The years with Jiri Hlinka also increased my further interest for music pedagogy. I completed my studies in Norway with the recording of solo CD with the music of Grieg, Tveitt, Scribine and Arvo Pärt.
In 2002 I continued my journey to Belgium. I finished Master Degree in piano and music pedagogy in The Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. The unexpected always happens – in conservatory i also met my partner Yves Robyns who studied jazz piano. The years in Norway were all about absorbing new skills and experiences, in Belgium i rediscovered the importance of Estonian music in my concert repertoire. I collaborated with composer Wim Hendrickx, recitante Lutgart Van Ballaer, Beethoven Academie Orchestra. After long years of classical piano studies, forming piano duo with Yves was the most out of ordinary thing to do – classic meets jazz – and it’s fun!
Our common interest for music education led us to start HeliStudio in 2010. In Estonian ‘helistuudio’ means recording studio, also for us both as musicians and teachers it is all about great sound!
Work in Helistudio brings all my ambitions and passions together – as a teacher i love to introduce the world of music to the smallest ones and get them started with their first “finger-steps” on the keyboard. Music helps children to increase concentration, develop their fine motoric skills and most of all – learn to tap into their inner selves! The world today is not in need for another virtuoso pianist, but i believe that by practicing music even as a hobby we can always become better human beings.
Working with adult students inspires me most in a personal level. The results here prove several pedagogy books to be wrong – in my experience it is never too late to learn piano, however when you start later, it will be a test of willpower and patience. I admire adults who pick up their dreams from childhood and make it happen note by note years later. It confirms my belief that music is a necessity in our lives.
When i witness weekly how our students strive to learn piano and i always take this energy with me on stage as a concert pianist.
It’s not about being the best, it’s about doing your best!
My name is Yves. I was 7 years old when i registered myself to study violin at the musicschool In Beringen. Few years later I picked up guitar and got very busy, because along with my friends we started rock band. I arranged the songs, played guitar and sang. It was clear to me that music was my life long passion.
I had a chance to choose one more new instrument before i started my studies at the conservatory. I picked the piano – and this is the one i still like the most. In the conservatory of Antwerp i studied jazz piano and got lots of inspiration from my teachers Christoph Erbstösser and Erik Vermeulen. I also enjoyed playing in “Daddy’s Darlings” and “The Big Band Boys”. I had to choose some extra courses next to the piano and in the course about recording techniques i learned indeed how to make a recording, but most of all i met Heli.
Next to our solo piano activities, we formed a pianoduo where the repertoire is mostly my arrangements of songs from David Bowie, Queen, Michael Jackson, etc. In my compositions and arrangements i always leave space for personal improvisation.
My further interest for piano led me to specialize also as a piano tuner. A well tuned piano inspires to practice more!
In 2010 Heli and I started pianoschool HeliStudio. We believe that every person has a creative talent – we encourage children and adults to explore their musical skills. It’s very inspiring to see from lesson to lesson and concert to concert how our HeliStudio family grows and evolves musically. Heli gives weekly piano lessons – i accompany on piano or guitar and coach the singers.
Heli and I have one more amazing project growing – our son Robin-Aare!
Interested? Do you want to realise your dream? Contact us to discover what you can learn!
Interested to come and learn at HeliStudio? Contact us and we will be glad to explain and discuss how you can learn to play the piano.