Işık Ece Tezgel Gönül was born in Ankara, Turkey in 1984. She took her first piano lessons from Kemal Eroğlu at the age of three. Passing the entrance exam of Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory, she was qualified to become a student of Prof. Ayşe Savaşır Ekşi, a pupil of Wanda Landowska.
Between 2000 and 2006, while still at the Conservatory, she played church organ at the British Embassy Chapel and various church concerts and ceremonies.
From 2001 to 2004, she gave piano lessons for courses at O.D.T.Ü. Koleji Geliştirme Vakfı (METU Development Foundation Schools). In 2001, she studied piano with Prof. Anatol Jagoda and, in 2002, while working at summer schools and during her Masterclass, she had the opportunity to work with well-known names such as İdil Biret, Andrzej Jasinski and Mehmet Okonşar.
In 2005, she graduated from the Conservatory with high honor.
In 2006, by entering the Prof. Karl-Andreas Kolly`s Master Piano classes in Switzerland, she qualified to continue at Master of Art ZHF, Zürich (Zürcher Hochschule der Küste).
She conducted with Marc Kissoczy, taught methodology with Alwin Pfister, had educational psychology with Heiko Freund, physiological rehearsal pianist studies with Horst Hildebrandt, harpsichord with Michael Biehl, and Alexander technique with Sylvia Baumann. She also studied 17th century Italian chamber music with Matthias Weilenmann, and attended lessons of piano accompaniment for voice in the classes of Hans Adolfsen and Daniel Fueter .
Furthermore, she studied live-electronic music with Felix Profos at the Studio for New Musik. She learned to play the trumpet as a second instrument with Corrado Bossard. In November 2008, she worked with Roy Howat in his Master class.
After completing her full-time master's degree program in 2008, she received her Concert Pianist Diploma. From 2008 to 2010, she studied instrumental teaching in music pedagogy. After completing her academic training in Switzerland, she moved back to Izmir, Turkey.
Over the last two years she has worked at Yasar University YUSEM Music School and at Çamlaraltı Art College in İzmir. Currently Işık Ece Tezgel Gönül is also participating as an active soloist in chamber music and duo concerts, both within the country and abroad.
About My Lessons
Pre-school piano lessons;
I have students who start piano training at the age of three. At the very beginning, I always make sure that especially my three year old students participate in the classes with their parents. Thus, they are able to practice everything I teach them at home. Since they are distracted very quickly at short intervals, I make sure to use different materials in my classes. I let them touch the piano keys with colors, shapes, with movements and with games. I try not to interfere with their movements as much as possible since it may blunt their sense of creativity.
The most important point is that I most certainly introduce the instrument.
With these methods, I receive very positive responses from the children between 3 and 6 years old and their parents. Therefore, I do not start to teach them musical notes right away. I let them be free for some time. Another important issue is singing a song which significantly contributes to musical education.
7 years and above;
7-year olds start school training, communicate with school mates more consciously and are introduced to the concept of “homework”. In this age group, children start to learn the meaning of responsibility. That is why; I try to conduct my class one on one. Children experience difficulties in focusing to the lesson when their parents are present. As soon as they begin to read musical notes, I make sure that they read both the works they play and the solfege* books which I keep separately. They are required to listen to the musical notes and make the same sounds with their own voices. This method is one of the methods which give extremely good results and it also speeds up reading of the musical notes. During the later stages, I teach rhythmic studies and how to read sight reading*. I always make sure they play improvisations with the richness of their imagination. From age 7, I talk to them about composers and I want them to tell me about their thoughts.
15 years and above;
At this age range, young musicians are in need of support for their piano playing techniques. Since their body structures develop and change, their hands and consciousness exhibit the same changes. For this reason, I concentrate more on finger exercises and I attach importance to interpretation, theory and harmony information by directing them to work at various levels (to studies, scales and arpeggios).
Since I received training on several music branches in Switzerland, I can apply new techniques and contemporary practices in order to enable children of younger age groups to move rapidly in their courses without getting bored. During my classes with adults, in addition to classical music, I spend time on music they like to interpret and to listen. I try to apply different methods as much as possible in my classes. I take great care to monitor new released methods and music notes. Unfortunately, there are a few educators in Turkey who are aware of this. It is very important that the children and the young people get introduced to and play as many new works as possible.
At the end of each year and prior to each report holiday, I always organize special concerts with my classes. It is very important that children should go on a stage and live the excitement and the experience. That day will have a very special place in one’s memory. In addition, I also prepare students to APTITUDE TESTS of the CONSERVATORY, EXAMS OF THE LONDON COLLEGE OF MUSIC, and entrance examinations of HIGH SCHOOLS OF FINE ARTS and FACULTIES OF EDUCATION. If preparation classes are required, it can be done two times a week.
I strongly believe that teaching is a profession which requires a great deal of patience, responsibility and devotion. Plus, it cannot be measured with any value. That is why; I always work with great care. My wish is that all the students I teach should keep playing the piano, no matter what their profession is. I hope music will have an eternal place in their lives.
* sight reading: is the reading and performing of a piece of written music
* solfege: is a music education method used to teach pitch and sight singing.