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Kind Words

from students and parents.

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Nurit is a fantastic teacher. She helped me grow as a pianist and musician beyond what I thought I was capable of. She pushed me because she knew I could do better and she believed in me. She created a warm and kind community in her studio, allowing students to listen to each other and get to know each other, and support each other through shared experiences in and out of the studio.  Aside from musicality, technique, and skill, she leads lessons with kindness and humor. Most importantly, Nurit cares deeply about her students and always relates and sympathizes with them. Even after graduating from the studio, the musicianship and skill I learned with her has stuck with me for many years and continues to shape how I play piano and approach music more broadly.

Nitsan Shai, Class of 2012 

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I took piano lessons with Nurit for 14 years, beginning when I was just 5 years old up until my graduation from high school in 2017. It’s hard to sum up her role in my life, as she’s been such an important part of not only my pianistic development but my personal growth as well. 

Week after week for 784+ weeks she watched me make mistakes, try new things, and experience the ups and downs of piano, school, friendships, and life, and thus has become a maternal figure. Piano will be a lifelong joy for me, and all the credit for that goes to Nurit.

She is an exceptionally strong pianist, with an expansive mental library of piano works. This knowledge of all eras of music and thousands of pieces means she expertly chooses pieces perfectly suited for your preferences and development. She also is an expert theorist, thus has helped me build a robust foundation of theory knowledge that was directly applied to my music. She brings decades of teaching experience to her work, as is evident in her efficient, thoughtful, and rigorous teaching plans. 

Nurit expects a lot, both from her students and from herself. She truly believes in the capacity for greatness of all of her students, and consistently pushed me to dig deeper to fulfill my potential. She is a firm believer in grit and hard work and challenged me to put in the time required to be the best pianist and version of myself. She is tough but endlessly patient and unconditionally supported me throughout every bout of performance anxiety, every moment of self-doubt, and every successful competition. 


Her passion for music is infectious, and she genuinely put her heart and soul into my development. She devoted an unbelievable amount of time, attention, and love to me that I will be forever grateful for. 

Every time I come back to the Bay Area I visit her and am welcomed home with a huge hug and a new piece suggestion. If you ever have the chance to take lessons from Nurit, seize it. You will receive a top tier classical piano education and are letting a brilliant, strong-minded, talented, and wonderful teacher into your life.

Elise Rust, Class of 2017

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Nurit is an amazing piano teacher and I would recommend her to anyone, no matter the piano goals you want for your pianist. I speak from the perspective of a professional pianist who has had two children have Nurit as their sole teacher from ages 6 - 7 until high school graduation, and a third child with one last precious Nurit year before she leaves for college.  

All in all, I'll have had the 'Nurit Experience' for 18 years. ​Nurit is most understanding of every child's needs and their competing interests (sports, academics, social etc). She does not just mandate goals and workload for her students but co-opts each child in the planning process; students have a voice in repertoire and pianistic goals.​ I can always pick out her students from the crowd performing at the MTAC recitals, for no matter the level the student is playing, every one of Nurit's students performs musically.

Jean Goyal, parent of three students 

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With unbelievable patience and a modicum of motherly love, Nurit guided me into examining and digging deep into the most basic piano technique making me re-learn it all in a better way.  But she did this in a way no other teacher could ever do before: with empathy and sincere respect, not discipline and fear.
​I went from being a student that glided over the most egregious mistakes in almost all of my pieces, to, after 4 years with Nurit, a student whose senior year was marked by playing Ravel’s Ondine for the MTAC Panel competition.
Out of hundreds of kids, I placed among the top 36 students state-wide and was selected to perform at the association’s annual convention in 2017.​
As I continue my piano studies in college, I think the most important lesson I received from Nurit was a true appreciation and curiosity not just for the superficial joy of being able to play a difficult or “pretty” piece , but also a wonder and a need to understand and examine deeper the story each composer told through their piece.
Besides the endless insights gained from lessons, the most valuable thing I received from joining Nurit’s class was a lifelong friend and advocate in Nurit, who remains very close to me to this day. :)​

Yuval Medina, Class of 2017

Many piano teachers are competent and committed to teaching technique and music theory, but Nurit Barlev is another kind of teacher entirely, whose goal is a superior level of complete musicianship in all her students.  Bringing an extraordinary talent for both listening and teaching, Ms. Barlev combines them into an efficient and enjoyable lesson, guiding students to the deeper intellectual and emotional components found in the highest forms of musicianship.
Her standards are high and we love that about her. With a variety of strategies, she imparts not only her musical knowledge but a bit of her life philosophy as well.  We are extremely satisfied with the improvements we’ve seen in our two piano students over the past three years. As our younger student said recently, 'I wish we had been with Nurit sooner.'

Star Teachout, parent of two students

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I studied with Nurit for seven years—2008-2015, when I was 11-18 years old—and working with her was one of the most formative aspects of that part of my life. I cannot recommend Nurit highly enough, as a piano teacher, a mentor, and now (I'm lucky enough to say!) as a good friend.
Nurit is an excellent teacher, and even more importantly cares deeply about the success and well-being of her students. Thanks in large part to her instruction, during my time with Nurit, I reached levels of technical and musical proficiency well beyond anything I could have expected, including studying and performing a Chopin Ballade, Prokofiev Sonata, and several Beethoven Sonatas in my last couple years of high school.
Importantly, Nurit instills a balance of love of playing and practicing while introducing discipline through regular performance opportunities and the occasional exam or competition. Even more importantly, Nurit was a wonderful mentor and role model to me and her other students. She is a large part of why I still love classical music, and why I still play piano nearly every day, even several years after I've stopped formally studying music. 
She built a lovely community among her students, hosting regular "group meetings" for informal performances and encouraging us to practice together and support one another. In a "pressure cooker" of a community like the Bay Area, working with Nurit—who truly cares about each of her student's well-being in addition to their success—was one of the best things about my time in middle and high school in Palo Alto.

Emily Aiken, Class of 2015 

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I found Nurit’s studio after trying multiple different instructors, and I instantly knew I found the perfect instructor for me. Throughout our time together, Nurit has become more than just my piano teacher but also a friend and mentor. She’s guided me throughout my adolescence and continues to support me throughout college.  
Nurit knows exactly how to personalize her teaching style to each person so that they continue to grow as a musician. She knew how to keep me motivated when I was younger and undisciplined. She knew how to instill confidence in my musical ability when I felt insecure and incapable. And she knew how to challenge me when I became complacent and stagnant.
My piano lessons with Nurit taught me how to be confident in my own musical abilities, how to stay persistent in the face of difficulties, how to listen deeply to each note and how to find my own place in music.

Lisa Hao, Class of 2016

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We are extremely fortunate to have Mrs. Barlev as my son’s piano teacher. Mrs. Barlev is an elegant professional, passionate about music, strict yet extremely patient when teaching.  Needless to say, Mrs. Barlev has many outstanding students signed up for various competitions and performances, but our story is about how she transformed a little boy into a music lover. 
When my son transferred to Mrs. Barlev’s studio five years ago, she put a lot of effort into correcting his improper habits and rebuilding his fundamental technique. She was always amazingly calm and patient in guiding him through this challenging period of time.
From then on, it all went smoothly until two years ago, when my son suddenly decided to stop piano studying. He seemed tired of practicing and was not willing to spend time on it anymore. It was a difficult time with discussions and arguments within the family.

Mrs. Barlev allowed him to take the lead and worked with him on his choice of some anime music that he really liked. She spent a lot of time in order to provide him with a large choice of “lighter” pieces to work on. Gradually, Classical pieces were reintroduced into the curriculum.
Magic happened again! He was not only willing to play the piano but also loved to practice without any reminder. We can tell his happiness from each note he plays.
Thanks to Mrs. Barlev’s deep involvement, he learned an important lesson about persistence and the joy after persistence. 
From the day my son told me that he wanted to learn the piano, until today when piano and music have become part of his life, he not only has learned music, but also life lessons helping him to be a better teenager. This would not happen without Mrs. Barlev! 

As a teacher, she is not simply teaching the piano with rigid methodology; instead, she educates her students with the love of music. Her passion, her charming personality, her patience, and experience in teaching are precious gifts to my son and many other students around her. 

Yuan Liu, parent of student

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I studied piano with Nurit from 8th Grade through my Senior year of high school. Each year, Nurit compiled a challenging repertoire of four or five pieces for my next level in the Certificate of Merit evaluation. This goal setting and organized scheduling changed my piano playing from a hobby into something I actively studied. 

Nurit brings out the dedication in her students, holding monthly group meetings to prepare for recitals and competitions throughout the academic year. In addition to advancing my technical abilities, Nurit also helped me hone the emotional expression I poured into my music, and control it properly for best results. Though I am not currently studying piano in college, the work I put in during my piano studies with Nurit allows me now to return to previously learned pieces as I wish. 
The work ethic I learned at Nurit’s piano studio feeds into my academic determination today, and I believe that the role Nurit played in my piano education has strengthened my lifelong passion for the instrument.

Ben Hyver, Class of 2018

There's no hiding that growing up in Palo Alto can be a pressure-cooker. Through our children, we've seen how nurturing and important it can be to have a close relationship with a teacher, coach, or mentor outside the family. 
Nurit is a superb musician who imparts her love of teaching to all of her students. She provides encouragement and warmth while at the same time instilling discipline and commitment. 
The camaraderie of Nurit's students and the wonderful atmosphere of her recitals, both formal and informal, is a gift. But even more important is her deep, caring, individual attention to each student.
Nurit not only helped our daughter become a passionate and accomplished pianist, she was a role model and is now a lifelong friend.

Jennifer Widom, parent of student

Mrs. Barlev’s passion for music and teaching is evident in how she carefully chooses each child’s repertoire focusing on all the classical periods, hosts in her studio monthly opportunities for the students to showcase their efforts and talent and she balances the perfect amount of praise and constructive criticism to keep her students engaged and successful. I have truly enjoyed watching my four kids grow musically with Nurit as their teacher.

Mary Hyver, parent of four students

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