Changing tunes in life

Reading emotions through black and white keys

Reading immigration stories we see that music often plays an important role in the life of those who leave something to head towards the unknown. Sometimes music alone can be enough to support a radical change.

Sofi is Armenian and about 13 years ago emigrated with her 10 years old daughter. Armenia was in a bad political and economic situation. Furthemore life events made her to become very strong as a woman and as a mom. Thanks to her strength and determination she was able to completely turn her life upside down. A chance came along and she jumped at it! She moved to United States to find new opportunities. Piano is her main instrument but she also plays flute. She started back in Armenia to continue her studies here with an Armenian teacher. Flute also takes a lot of work. So she is totally and constantly absorbed by music. Sofi is also a piano teacher. Her education is from Armenia, former Soviet Union so she is pretty straight as a teacher in comparison to the American ones. However it seems that most of students’ parents prefer a straight teacher to best stimulate students to do something, and to empower them more. At the same time she is very friendly though. Sofi’s passion for piano came when she was 7. Thus she went to music school and was supported by her grandmother who wanted her to play piano. Although was hard to pass the exam and get in the music school she passed it and was admitted at the at piano department. She had a very good teacher, from which she adopted the teaching method. In United States, as in Armenia, Sofi plays with different orchestras.
She also plays keyboard. Although her background is classical, she is a versatile cocktail pianist with a repertoire that includes several musical genres from classical to pop, to jazz. When Sofi moved to California she had to go through something that looks a lot like a change of season and today she experiences a constant spring time living on what she loves the most and that is music. Music brings her inner part out. It elevates her as it emerges from her words.

Sofi Sarkisyan

How was your approach to music?

S.S.: “I can say that I am who I am thanks to my piano teacher. I am very grateful to her. I was young when I started to do competitions and concerts. I realized I have capability for this. Of course you need to work and to do actually a lot of work. However I realized I could do it naturally.”

How about piano?

S.S.: “It is very close to my heart, to my ears. When I play I feel I am going away from this world.

What’s your relationship with music?

S.S.: “I am passionate about music because it makes me live. Even when I don’t play but I listen to music it makes me live. Every music genre makes my emotions to come out. A bunch of emotions go through music! And then when I play, anytime I go through a different state of mind. I feel different emotions, even if I play the same song. Compared to me as a woman, as a musician when I play I kind of loose myself. I mean I loose my sense of being a human, a woman, a mother… The emotions I feel while playing piano are the emotions I have gained in my life but they show up all in that moment, while I’ m playing. There are only emotions when I play.”

Sofi Sarkisyan

Do you miss Armenia?

S.S.: “I am from Yerevan that is for me the most beautiful city. It has beautiful architecture and loving friendly environment and hospitality. I have some relatives there and many friends. I miss them. I miss the weather because it has all seasons. Yerevan’ spring is colored by flowering trees and perfume of apricots, cherries, peaches… Summer is very hot, dressed in intense green foliage.
Autumn is romantic with its yellow, orange and burgundy’ shades. Winter is white everywhere! Cold and pleasant for Christmas celebrations.
I was in Yerevan in the summer 2021. I visit often because I miss it a lot.”

Have you ever been to Italy?

S.S.: “I have never been to Italy but I would like to go and visit Rome, Milan and the opera theater La Scala. And also would love to visit Southern Italy as well. Hopefully soon so will get the chance to visit both, La Scala in Milan and The San Carlo Theater.”

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