Stephanie's Heroes: Toko Duvall

By: Stephanie Satchell Email
By: Stephanie Satchell Email

May 28, 2012

One Charlottesville piano instructor is changing lives one note at a time. In this week's Stephanie's Heroes, Stephanie Satchell features Toko Duvall who is using music to shape other aspects of her students' lives.

For more than two decades, Toko Duvall has been teaching children and adults from Central Virginia how to play musical instruments.

She came to Charlottesville from Japan and created the Music Emporium off Hydraulic Road which gave students a new place to learn the harp, violin, guitar, and piano.

"Toko Duvall is my hero. She's wonderful and she's been a hero to all these students for 25 years here at the Music Emporium," said Pam Hill, music instructor.

She's able to help even the youngest students make a beautiful noise. Abby Burford starting taking lessons when she was three. Duvall uses a different approach when teaching called "copy cat." With this method you play with the left hand first and then the right.

"You do it together," said Burford.

It's not just music that the students are learning, Duvall hopes these musicians take away another lesson.

"They're not just playing for me, but I'm checking their learning processes level step by step. It's not just for piano music, I want them to use that step by step guide for everything they do and never give up," said Duvall.

Toko Duvall's business is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

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