biography

             Mikhail Niks was a native of St. Petersburg, Russia. He was an electronic engineer by training and also studied voice with Elizabeth Ginsburg and piano with Inessa Niks. His research centered on piano technique and led to the development of the principle of the forward shoulder force to reduce the exertion of the wrist. In 1989, he invented and patented his first piano device, the "Hand and Wrist Exercising Means, "that demonstrated this principle. A medical experiment in the Los Amigos Medical Center, Downey, CA that same year tested and approved this principle. Further research focused on the usage of finger muscles in piano playing and led to the invention of the second piano device, the Hand Guide, in 1991. The Hand Guide combined the principle of the forward shoulder force with the principle of effective finger work to become a teaching aid for the tension-free piano technique. For this achievement Mr. Niks was included in the 1992-1993 edition of Who's Who of American inventors (Hooper Group Publishing). In the same year he founded the Niks Hand Retraining Center in Redlands, CA for the purpose of helping people with hand complications. The same principles were subsequently applied to the process of typing, resulting in the book, Type Without Tension, published by Northwest Publishing, Inc. in 1992. The last period of his life, Mr. Niks dedicated to intensive research in vocal technique, laying the foundation for the modern approach to the old principles of "bel canto" style by explaining these principles with the language of kinesiology. Mr. Niks left behind two more manuscripts: Play Without Tension and Everyday Movements. The device, Hand Guide, was on loan to the Händel-Haus in Halle and Robert Schumann Museum in Zwickau, Germany for the Robert Schumann Year celebration in 2010-2011 and subsequently acquired by the Robert Schumann Museum in 2011.

                 Inessa Niks is a graduate of the Special Music School for Gifted Children, piano department, and the St. Petersburg Conservatory, musicology department, Russia. She concurrently studied privately with Elizabeth Ginsburg, a piano student of Olga Kalantarova, a teaching assistant of Madame Esipova. At the present time, Mrs. Niks runs a piano/musicology studio and the Niks Hand Retraining Center in Redlands, CA. She is the author of a number of articles dealing with problems in piano technique published in the California Music Teacher magazine. She is also the author of the final version of the manual Play Without Tension, co-author of the final version of the manual, Type Without Tension and the author and performer in the recording of the lecture-recital titled The Mystery of Singing Tone. Mrs. Niks is also a member of the Music Teachers Association of CA and the European Piano Teachers Association. Her biography was included in the Who's Who of American Women (1999-2000 edition and 2000-2001 Millenium edition, Marquis Publication), an honor limited to individuals "who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in their own fields of endeavor." She also earned inclusion in the International Who's Who (1999-2000 edition, International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England) in the category of Music and Musician's Directory. Her biography was included in Outstanding People of the 20th Century, for her contributions in the fields of Piano Technique and Musicology (2000 edition, International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England), 2000 Outstanding Musicians of the 20th Century (2001 edition, International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England), and Outstanding Intellectuals of the 20th Century (2002 edition, International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England).  Recent awards include Who's Who In America: Music Educator (2008-2009 edition, Marquis Publication), International Mozart Award for Musical Achievement (2008-2009 edition, International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England), and World Who’s Who of Women (15th Fully Revised Edition 2011, International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England).

Mikhail niks

inessa niks

Dimitri niks

                 Dimitri Niks was born in 1969 in St. Petersburg, Russia.  He immigrated with his family to the US in 1979 and graduated from Redlands High School in CA in 1988.  Dimitri joined the US Army, was stationed in Germany and served in the Middle East during the Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991. After leaving the military Dimitri majored in Biochemistry at UC Riverside, CA and received a Bachelors degree in 1994 followed by a Masters degree in 1996. He has been involved in various research projects over the years focusing on enzyme kinetics of PLP and more recently Molybdenum-containing enzymes contributing to publications in peer-reviewed journals.  Dimitri studied piano with Inessa Niks as a child resuming his studies in 1996.  Dimitri was also involved in vocal research with his father, Mikhail from 1993-1996, when his father passed away. Continued vocal research focused on the effective resonance in operatic singing led to a breakthrough in 2005: the identification of a muscle group that creates the condition for optimal resonance.  Currently Dimitri is in charge of manufacturing he Hand Guide. He is also the editor of Type Without Tension and Play Without Tension manuals and narrator of Mystery of Singing Tone lecture-recital.