Written By: Traci Cumbay, Carmel Magazine
The brain operates on a use-it-or-lose-it basis, and educator Tatyana Komarova wants to make sure children are using it while their brains are developing most rapidly (before age 6) so they don’t lose it as they become adults.
She’s working to establish the International Talent Academy in Carmel to fill a void she sees in early childhood development and arts education.
Komarova is joining forces with Irina Gorin, who runs a successful piano studio in Carmel – six of her students received highest honors at the World Piano Competition in July and will perform at Carnegie Hall in September. The business partners want to create an academy that stresses performing arts but includes an early childhood development arm (for children as young as 6 months) and a parent’s academy, which would provide skills and information to help parents understand and guide their children.
“Parents are always the best teachers,” Komarova said. “They know their children’s strengths, unique interests and potential. I want to teach parents the importance of early child education and inspire them to get started early. I’m not talking about a traditional classroom setting – the key is learning through play.”
Komarova holds bachelor’s degrees in music education and theater and has a master’s in executive development for public services. She has worked for the past several years on building programs for pedagogy. Her mission is to make use of the spongy capacity for learning that young children’s brains have.
“The earlier children start learning, the greater their future potential,” Komarova said.
Her inspiration came from a book, “How To Teach Your Baby To Read,” by Glenn Doman. Komarova used Doman’s technique to start teaching her daughter to read when she was a year old, and the experience encouraged her to delve further into the ins and outs of brain development.
Now she’s combining what she has long known about the benefits of performing arts with her research to make sure young children get the most out of their early years, when their brains are highly receptive to education.
Programs at the academy include dance, music, theater, visual arts, gymnastics and etiquette. A broad early education that includes movement and music gives children a sure foundation for future learning, according to Komarova, who moved to Carmel six years ago and feels the area is ripe for her school.
“There’s not enough opportunity for students to excel in all that the arts offer,” Komarova said. “We’ll be offering all these classes in one location so parents don’t have to run from place to place taking their children to music, theater, dance or art classes all over town. Our academy will encourage families to spend more time learning together.”
Komarova’s vision is for an academy whose very name becomes shorthand for quality arts education: “I want universities to recognize that the International Talent Academy is a world-class institution,” she said, “and to recognize that our graduates have superior education in the arts.”