“Mr Rafael Nazario is an outstanding music educator. As a student of jazz harmony I joined Rafael’s tuition program in 2010 and through his tutelage have significantly developed my understanding and performance of jazz.
Rafael is skilled at tailoring his music education programs to meet students’ individual interests and competencies and structures his lessons with a well chosen balance of practice exercises, real world examples from a wide range of jazz composers and genres, as well as easy to follow demonstrations. He records each lesson for students to take home and refer to during their home practice sessions.
Lessons are well paced and he provides ample time during the lesson for students to explore particular aspects of the lesson in greater depth.
A skilled communicator, Rafael has a wonderful sense of humour and he quickly establishes strong rapport with students to sustain a high level of learning engagement. His manner is relaxed and engaging and his enthusiasm and passion for music is infectious.
Rafael is very innovative and flexible in his approach and teaching philosophy. Students are challenged and supported to ‘unpack’ their musical styles and preferences and to explore different paradigms of harmony and construction.
As a former High School Principal I had the responsibility of supervising the schools’ music education programs as part the school’s overall Creative Arts Program. The knowledge and understanding of how students learn music is a skill that Rafael demonstrates abundantly.
Rafael’s natural curiosity and willingness to take risks in his teaching practice and pedagogy establish him not only as an outstanding musician but also as a great mentor and educator.
My association with Rafael has opened the opportunity for me as a consultant in e-Learning solutions to develop with him a range of online music instruction strategies including content authoring, learning management and digital library management solutions and delivery of jazz music instruction programs to mobile devices such as the iPad. This rich and rewarding collaboration confirms Rafael as a great visionary in music education – a creative leader whose presence in the music education industry establishes him as a best practice educator and a true benchmark of excellence in education.
It is a pleasure and privilege to commend Rafael for any position of his choosing.”
– Stephen C Murray
CEO Creative e-Learning Solutions
“I am delighted to provide this written reference for Raphael (“Raf”) Nazario, who taught piano to both of our teenage daughters for two year period between 2011 and early 2013.
I can highly recommend Raphael as teacher not only from a technical point of view, but more importantly for his ability to “read” the learning styles of his students and adapt his style accordingly.
Too often I have found many music teachers are overly structured with their methods and seem to forget that unless a child actually “enjoys” playing music, that they will never perform to their potential and consequently, lessons and practice quickly become a chore.
Raf was a rare exception to this.
Raf is a very supportive teacher but not at the expense of getting the focus and discipline he needs from his students. He has a consistently engaging and enthusiastic style.
Our girls would comment on his passion and energy for lessons and music, which he passed on to them in their lessons. He is also a parent and I believe has good instincts around people and how to get the best out of them. More than just the experience in lessons, Raf gets result. While taught by Raphael, both our girls progressed well in their ability to play music and their “musicality.”
This translated into an increased ability to pick up music pieces by ear, to downloading chords and playing easily and of course, to self-teach via You Tube videos!
They began to do this more once they were taught by Raf as I think his teaching style increased their curiosity around music. This did not replace his teaching, it merely supplemented it, which was a great outcome.
Raf is also very communicative and works well with parents and carers to achieve mutual outcomes. I would highly recommend him as a teacher of music for all ages.”
– Cathy O’Connor
CEO dmg Radio Australia
“I am a songwriter and cabaret artist with 25 years experience in the professional theatre.
I began piano lessons with Raf Nazario in August 2009 with a view to expanding my knowledge of chords, improvisation and arrangment of my own material. I also wanted to find new ways of playing that I hadn’t encountered before.
I was very lucky to get Raf as a teacher as he has expanded my musical horizons in so many ways. His knowledge of different piano styles is vast and his own playing is inspirational. His arrangements are also absolutely beautiful. He is a born teacher who creates instant rapport and he also has a great sense of humour.
I look forward to my lessons enormously each week as they are fun as well as educational. I have had several teachers but I find Raf completely unique as he is able to communicate both the technical and the emotive/expressive components of music. I would highly recommend him as a teacher of both children and adults alike.”
– Joanna Weinberg
“It is with great pleasure that I write this letter of recommendation on behalf of Rafael Nazario. I have known Raf for over three years, since my daughter started piano/keyboard lessons with him in 2009. The progress that she has made with Raf far exceeded any expectations I had and demonstrates what a wonderful teacher he is. She has improved as a musician and gained much confidence within herself.
She is a very quiet and reserved person, who does not often express herself openly or voice her opinions and feelings. Raf has been so very patient and understanding of my daughter’s nature, yet he is still able to nurture her artistic qualities. Raf encourages her to bring her own character into her music, and to use music as a channel for self-expression. There is a wonderful connection between teacher and student.
Raf has introduced her to a wide variety of music, which are aligned with her interests first. He has taught her to understand the structure of the music she is learning, not just the music notes themselves. He has also encouraged and nurtured my daughter’s interest in composing her own music and lyrics, giving her ideas for her inspirations like suggestions of poetry, novels and artists. For my daughter it’s a very personal journey, and Raf has always respected that.
Raf is a very positive and encouraging teacher who is able to make confident self- motivated musicians out of his students. I highly recommend Raf as a piano teacher and I am sure that all his future students will be inspired by his contagious passion and love of music.”
– Anita Wong
“Rafael Nazario has been teaching my daughter Samantha piano for the past term and has been an absolute delight to work with.
Sam’s piano skills have progressed well, and she absolutely adores, yes adores!, her lessons with him. From my point of view her musical knowledge is developing in a way that enables her to make the connections with music, she is enjoying the lessons and is getting a sense of context as well as technical ability.
Raf has a way of making the music come alive, with both his expertise and experience, and, for anyone with musical ability, he will draw them out and enable them to shine.
I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Rafael to teach piano.”
– Anni Rowland-Campbell
” Rafael Nazario has been my improvisation and harmony teacher for most of 2011. As a long time teacher, teacher trainer and lecturer myself, I have much appreciated his approach and skills in communicating his passion for music as well as his theoretical knowledge.
He is flexible, enthusiastic and responsive to the needs and emotions of his students, and at the same time is non-judgmental. In my case, I found it very difficult to move from the constraints of interpreting classical piano music towards free self-expression, but he understood this problem, and addressed it from the start.
By urging me to move forward and experiment, providing me with practical approaches and exercises, and nurturing my self-confidence, Raf has helped me to discover for myself the direction I wanted to take. His lessons have been enriching and enjoyable, and I feel very fortunate to be his pupil.”
– Barbara Lasserre
B.A. Dip. Ed. M.A. M.Ed Hons
“I have known Rafael for about a year and I met him in his role as piano teacher at Big Music.
I have been working in music production for close to 20 years, but was feeling the need to expand my musicality into some different areas. Raf was just what I needed. He has a broad minded approach to making music with true creativity, mixed with his immense musical knowledge makes him a very special teacher.
Raf thinks deeply about what his student’s needs are, and finds a path for them to grow and improve as musicians. He is also an incredibly personable and fun guy to be around, and has some life experience that makes the journey with him more than just about music. As a business owner, I know this is the type of person I like to have around.”
– Ramesh Sathiah
Creative Director/Partner Song Zu Sydney
“I have been taking piano lessons with Rafael Nazario for two years.
As a mature-aged student and having no previous musical experience I approached my first lesson with some apprehension, not knowing quite what to expect.
However, with Raf’s relaxed and entertaining approach to teaching any nervousness was soon put to rest. His patience and understanding seem endless and from personal experience during his lessons, has a genuine caring and devoted nature.
Raf has an obvious passion for music and teaching, with lessons being a fun yet rewarding experience. He really makes learning so much easier with a ‘no pressure’ approach to teaching and learning. And with a few funny anecdotes thrown in as well!
I plan to continue lessons with Raf, as to my surprise I am actually making progress under Raf’s guidance. I am playing not only popular songs, but some beautiful classical pieces.
I cannot imagine not having music in my life—and find it very difficult to walk by my piano without wanting to play something!”
– Barbara Campbell
“Raf Nazario is a unique teacher of music. He goes beyond the traditional written music and keyboard to the structure and interaction of the notes and chords to give meaning to the sounds and rhythms created.
This provides the student with a foundation to build on and encourages individual expression within this overall framework to compose, to improvise, to expand, to express, or just play around with the music.
Raf doesn’t follow a laborious or onerous path from theory to practice by repetition but empowers each student to follow their own feelings within the scope of their changing abilities and express the music in their own individual way.
Raf’s depth of knowledge of music is amazing-from the history, to the structure, meaning and variations in presentation. This is surpassed only by an ability to demonstrate by playing all the options so one can clearly hear and see the lesson.
Raf plays from the heart-the source of music-not from the head, which may produce a level of technical expertise, but without feeling it is pointless.
The true meaning of music is the way it makes us feel, and to be taught the ability to express our own feelings in this way is one of Raf’s many talents.
These unique abilities should be shared, and I would recommend Raf for any position which would allow him to teach and demonstrate to others their own ability to learn from such a wealth of experience.”
– John Sparks
Neutral Bay NSW
“It is with great pleasure that I recommend Raf Nazario as a music, piano and improvisation teacher. Raf conducts himself with utmost professionalism in his teaching role and combines a rare blend of creative and technological competence. At the same time he is warm and personable, possessing excellent communication skills.
I have taken weekly individual lessons from Raf since August this year and have found that he can respond intuitively to my particular needs as a student of both keyboard and voice. He has challenged me to discover new musical horizons, and helped me to become more relaxed and confident in my abilities. To do this he draws from a wealth of performing and composing experience that is soundly supported by his formal knowledge and training, as well as his own creative explorations.
I wish him every success with his future teaching, coaching or mentoring appointments.”
– Brigitte Staples
“It is with pleasure that I highly recommend Rafael (Raf) Nazario as a piano tutor. He is a dedicated, knowledgeable, patient and enthusiastic teacher who makes learning the piano fun, interesting and challenging for my daughter Ashley.
For more than 4 years, Ashley learned piano using more traditional approaches and when her teacher fell pregnant we changed to Raf and haven’t looked back. For us, his philosophy on music and how the piano can be learned exceeds traditional methods by focusing on learning to love music and not just the piano, from a wide variety of genres and disciplines and once again Ashley is thoroughly enjoying her music.
Raf makes every lesson enjoyable and I recommend him without hesitation.”
– Simone Appleby