STUDENT SUCCESS STORIES
Studying with Mr. Shihor not only has allowed me to pursue my dreams, but also changed my life. His ever-growing attention to style, precision, and delicacy has brought to my music colors that I would have never imagined if it were not for his unprecedented teaching. I cannot thank him enough for the nine years of guiding me and my music and for making it possible for me to get accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music!
Curtis Institute of Music BM, Class of 2022
It’s very hard to explain with words how grateful I am to Mr. Shihor for the past four years studying with him. There are too many things that in my opinion stand out in his teaching, but I think I should at least mention these two. The first one is his unconditional belief in the student’s abilities and his commitment to make the most of those abilities no matter what it takes. Often he believed in me more than I did myself, and kept demanding and encouraging the highest level in pieces without exception. This is grounded on the second aspect – he can justify that belief because he knows how to make that potential a reality through an extraordinary attention to detail, ear and musical intuition.
The most remarkable thing which I’ve noticed, however, is his ability to point out exactly the things that I need but that I’m not yet hearing in the music, to let that piece develop to a next level that I could not imagine before the lesson, and that sometimes I was not even aiming for to start with, because I didn’t know it was possible for me. I just didn’t know how to reach that level and he helped me every time without fail. His commitment before specific important events (such as the competitions I’ve entered) has been incredible, giving many, many hours a week that I needed to be as prepared as possible. As a result, I always surpassed my expectations in those events. If I look back to those four years in a bigger scale I can see how much Mr. Shihor has helped me find and develop my technique, my ear and my musical and pianistic personality. On top of that he is a wonderful human being and mentor, a very kind person and someone whom I feel I can always turn to. The value of these four years is incredibly important in my life!
Albert Cano Smit
Curtis Institute of Music, BM, Class of 2022
I started taking lessons with Mr. Shihor about 3 years ago and am eternally grateful because I have grown tremendously. This September, I will be attending the Royal Academy of Music with a full scholarship. One of my biggest insecurities when I first started studying with Mr. Shihor, was my technique. Within in my first lesson, he already corrected the way I sat at the piano which changed the amount and the quality of sound I produced…Mr. Shihor pushed me to learn a lot of repertoire, without over stressing me. He has helped me reach my full potential through support and honesty.
Mr. Shihor is such a positive force, I have never feared that he would be angry with how I played. Disappointed? Yes, but I strongly believe that is important to one’s growth. I never want to disappoint him with my playing; when you have teacher that is effectively doing their job, you want to do nothing less then please them. They don’t have to yell at you or be mean to you to get you to practice because if they are doing it right, you will naturally want to meet their standards. Studying with Mr. Shihor has opened so many opportunities for me, has helped me find the sound I want to create, has raised my confidence in my playing, and has shown that I am capable. I am so thankful for Mr. Shihor.
Royal Academy of Music MM, Class of 2022
Three years of study with Mr.Shihor has totally changed my understanding and increase my love of music dramatically. He patiently guide me with his wonderful musical ideas and concepts.The improvements and achievements I made during these three years are way beyond my imagination. It is truly an amazing experience studying with Mr.Shihor. Without his patience, sensitive and delicate teaching and guidance. It’s not possible for me to get accepted into my dream school, Juilliard. I am extremely thankful to him for all the works and effort he has done for me.
The Julliard School BM, Class of 2022
Mr. Shihor is a wonderful, warm and understanding teacher. I definitely feel improvements in my playing, especially enhancement in my confidence as a musician. Before I moved to LA and started my lesson with Mr. Shihor, I was studying in Moscow, where I’ve always had very strict and cold teachers and developed extreme anxiety playing in front of people. Mr. Shihor was able to generate a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere, where, a little by little, I came out of my shell and now have no problems playing in public! In addition, Mr. Shihor was very helpful with my college application including pre-screening video recordings and advising regarding schools and teachers. With Mr. Shihor’s guidance and mentorship, I got accepted to all of the schools I’ve auditioned for! I’ve also received scholarships covering 75%-80% of the tuition! I am very grateful that I had an opportunity to study with such a great teacher!
Boston Conservatory, BM, Class of 2022
I started taking lessons with professor Shihor in 2015, in preparation for my graduation recital for my undergraduate degree. After my first few lessons with professor Shihor, I started noticing major changes in my practice and performance. Furthermore, I was growing more confident with each concert I played. I decided to apply to graduate school in 2016 and knew that studying with professor Shihor would be the best way for me to feel comfortable and confident with the audition process. Professor Shihor really took the time to help me through this process, starting from the repertoire selection that not only challenged me but also showcased my personality and voice. He would take the time to sit with me and talk about which schools I was hoping to attend, what I was hoping to get out of each school, and which school and faculty member would be the best fit for me in my progress. At the end of this process, I received acceptance letters from all the schools I auditioned at, but more importantly, I felt confident in my voice as a musician. Studying with professor Shihor was an important step in my career and I am very grateful for his guidance.
San Francisco Conservatory, BM, Class of 2021
Studying with Mr. Shihor wasn’t just an ordinary career development process, it was an unforgettable life changing journey. Words could never explain how thankful and grateful I am to have met such an amazing teacher and mentor, who helped me realize that in order to grow, I have to let go of self-limiting beliefs, and let my mind and aspirations rise to greater heights. Looking back to 2017, I still can’t believe how much I’ve grown and matured, not just as a pianist, but also as a person.
Throughout the past three years, Mr. Shihor has never failed to bring out the best in me. He often understood me better than I did myself. His unconditional belief and optimism toward my abilities encouraged me to see beyond the impossible, and his endless support and tremendous details to music helped me understand, feel, and hear music in a whole other level. Mr. Shihor’s dedication on making my dreams possible pushed me to work harder, give out everything I have, and become the best version of myself.
Aside from everything, Mr. Shihor is more than just an amazing teacher and mentor. He is a warm-hearted, fun, funny, and caring individual who has played a big role in my life. I could never thank him enough for everything he has done for me.
Thank you, Mr. Shihor, for being there for me each and everyday. I’m really grateful to have you help me get into a wonderful college with a large scholarship. I wouldn’t be able to go this far without you.
Peabody Institute of The John Hopkins University, BM, Class of 2024
Successfully placing students in their
PREFERRED MUSIC CONSERVATORIES SINCE 2014
Offers to Juilliard and Curtis
Offers to top 10 US conservatories
Worth of scholarships & financial aid (USD)
Of students accepted to all 5 top choice schools
TOP CONSERVATORY & UNIVERSITY ACCEPTANCES
Curtis, Juilliard, Oberlin, Yale School of Music, Boston Conservatory, Peabody, NEC, Royal Academy of Music (UK), Boston University, Manhattan School of Music, USC Thornton School of Music, Colburn, SFCM, Mannes, Northwestern University, Eastman and more.