Christine Bemko Kril
Christine Bemko Kril is a musician and music educator whose work with special needs students began in 1982 with a young boy name Ivan. Ivan was a 10-year-old who wore a helmet to protect his head from his frequent falls, with a wide grin that he flashed whenever he heard music. He wanted to learn to play piano the way his mother played, but could not understand the dots and lines that made musical notes. Challenged to help him, Christine found herself creating songs of music using letters - the familiar symbols that Ivan knew and could understand. Her list of songs grew quickly when she started working with very young beginners at a local Montessori school, young beginners who also benefited from starting piano with a pre-notation system. Christine came to believe that learning to play melodies and fun tunes on the piano the way Ivan and the young students were learning was an engaging and interesting way to bring music into these children's lives. Her teaching studio grew rapidly and attracted other music teachers, and soon Christine opened a music school that catered to a wide and varied population of students. She started her 'Keiki Music Program' at the school for groups of young beginners and developed a program for piano and general music. When she found that even adults enjoyed the easy pace of this pre-notation introduction, the idea for a book was born.
Christine eventually moved to Virginia, where she decided to publish her materials as the I Can Do It! Piano Book, First Book of Favorite Songs in 2005. Convinced that piano is a remarkably appropriate vehicle to train the hands and brain to work together, Christine wanted to make her introduction more widely available for beginners and children with special needs. Since then, she has traveled around the country introducing her book and supporting teachers who are working with this same population of beginners. Her book is currently in it's second printing and she is issuing it in a digital edition shortly to make it more easily available online and around the world. She continues her work with the special needs students and is creating new supporting material and adding many new pieces, both as printed music and in the digital format.
Christine has a bi-weekly blog about her creative journey with the children in her studio, and is developing a community of teachers for sharing ideas and supporting each other in their educational journeys. Christine is passionate about the strong positive impact music can have on the lives of children. She is committed to studying the needs of all beginners in piano to better serve them, and to find ways to serve the learning communities at large.