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Meet Yulia Berry of Yulia Berry’s Flute Studio

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yulia Berry.

Yulia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, the beautiful city built by finest Italian architects, with its fascinating palaces, parks, canals, suburbs and rich cultural life. There I fell in love with the flute – a beautiful music instrument, which sound reminds me of a female voice.

I earned Master Degrees in both flute performance and flute instruction from The Saint-Petersburg State Conservatory named after N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov, and also Bachelor Degrees in both flute performance and flute instruction with Honors from The Saint-Petersburg State School of Music named after M.P. Mussorgsky.

During my years of studying, I performed in the most beautiful palaces and concert halls of Saint-Petersburg as a soloist, and also with chamber ensembles and symphony orchestras. After graduating the Conservatory and searching for a more diverse music experience, I joined a unique ethnic-rock group, “Vermicelli Orchestra”, that I toured with for a few years and appeared on radio and TV.

At the same time, I always enjoyed teaching and started as a private teacher as early as 16 years old, followed by a couple teaching jobs at music schools. One of them was the “Saint-Petersburg State Music School No.11”, named “Best Music School of Saint-Petersburg” continuously for over 40 years. Teaching the flute, the recorder and chamber ensembles in the school gave me a precious and unique experience.

Many teachers, who worked there were famous musicians, composers, and authors of published teaching methods and books on music. Of course, for me, as a young musician and teacher at that time, it was an amazing opportunity to learn from them and even collaborate with some on various teaching initiatives, for example – creating a student flute-guitar ensemble and organizing solo concerts for the students in different palaces and museums.

After moving to Boston I continued my teaching passion and quickly gained private students. I was lucky to meet Laurie Graf, the owner of the Center Stage Studio, located in the historical center of Quincy and started working at their beautiful, newly renovated building.

Students travel to my flute studio from many areas of the Greater Boston, such as Malden, Dedham, Weymouth, Canton, Sharon, Needham, Boston, Hingham, Braintree, South Boston, Newton, even from the neighbor state, Rhode Island, and of course, Quincy.

My students have been award winners at various music competitions and won placements in the New England Conservatory’s Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble and Baroque Ensemble, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO), Junior and Senior Districts, All-State Festival, and the Longy School’s Ensembles and Orchestras.

A few years ago I learned about an amazing program in Quincy called the “Quincy Band Boosters” and its incredible director Lori Hagborg. This program supports talented and motivated Quincy students by giving them a scholarship for private music lessons. As my part of supporting this program, I offer the 10th lesson free to the students who come through QBB. I can see what huge impact this program has on young Quincy musicians and I really appreciate their support of music education in Quincy.

I don’t lose a connection to my native city Saint-Petersburg. Since 2012 Yulia Berry’s Flute Studio has been a co-founder and sponsor of the Annual Open Flute Competition, “Young Virtuoso”. The competition was founded by the Saint-Petersburg State Music School, named after Evgeny Mravinsky – a famous Russian conductor has been supported by “Maestro Yuri Temirkanov’s International Foundation for Cultural Initiatives” and takes place annually in Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

In 2014 I took my passion for the flute and my advanced computer skills into a completely different field – I developed a Mobile app “All About Flute”, which purpose is to serve as an online community for all flute enthusiasts. In four years the app has 11 000 users and still keeps growing.

My newest project “Web Flute Academy” is a completely different approach to studying the flute, using best e-learning tools combined with live video meetings. I am a co-founder of WFA along with Onorio Zaralli, renowned Italian flutist, composer, writer, and mentor.

The goal of this exciting project is to give many flutists around the world an affordable access to great flute teachers and flute courses, without the expenses associated with traveling. We also offer free courses and webinars and work on adding more choices of courses and inviting more flutists to teach.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The recession of 2008 really affected my flute teaching business for quite a few years. Usually, at hard economic times, people simply cannot afford expenses on such “luxury”, as studying classical music.
Also, it seems that historically the arts and music thrive on the North Shore of Boston. Being located in the South Shore brings some challenges for a classical flutist, but I am very attached to my beautiful and very historical Quincy. It’s been growing, renovating and transforming into a city I am very proud to be a part of and I cannot see myself anywhere else.

Yulia Berry’s Flute Studio – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
What sets my flute studio apart from others is the quality of my teaching, working with a professional accompanist and having beautiful, professionally organized recitals.

My education and extensive teaching experience helped me to come up with my own teaching method. I work with all ages and levels and I am a result oriented teacher.

As a very important part of the musician growth for my students, I organize formal recitals at least twice a year. Most of them were filmed by Jeff Mann for Quincy Public TV (qatv.org). This is also an important part of promoting classical music in my local area.

I’ve been lucky to work with Daniel Padgett, a very talented pianist and composer. Daniel is doing an amazing job as a collaborative pianist for my students, taking their performances to a very professional level.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is doing what you love and feeling good about it. When I hear from my current and former students and their parents how much my teaching and my passion for the flute and music affected their lives, I feel I succeeded something very important that is impossible to measure with money. My lessons are not just about the flute. I talk about the history of music, composers, performers, recommend what to listen and what concerts to attend. I love helping my students to discover the world of classical music.

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Image Credit:

Maureen Holland

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