I have been a piano teacher and performer for more than four decades. I began taking piano lessons at the age of seven and immediately started passing on my enthusiasm to friends and family by giving them “forced” free piano lessons!
While in high school, I was accepted into the nearby music conservatory and earned my degree through scholarships. After completing my Bachelor of Music degree in piano and voice, I taught music in the public schools.
After a few years of teaching, I returned to the university to begin my graduate studies. I received a teaching assistantship at The Ohio State University, where I taught while earning both my Masters and Doctorate degrees in piano pedagogy. In addition, I was awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award and was appointed as The Ohio State University graduate representative at the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy.
Doctoral Research and Thesis Publication
Students at the Ph.D. level are required to write a research thesis and to defend that thesis in front of a faculty panel. My thesis presented results from my research and experiments on how the human brain functions when we learn and perform music.
One of my findings was that music students each have a preferred way to learn — such as by ear or by reading music. My thesis suggested that, given this preference for a particular kind of instruction, piano teachers could get better results if they chose teaching methods and materials that matched the student’s preferred learning style rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach. Today, I continue to determine how my students perceive, store, recall, and retain information in order to better guide them in their piano study. After many years, I have found that students learn more quickly through their preferred style, but benefit greatly and gain a broader perspective by employing other styles as well.
In addition to my background as a musician and teacher, I have education and experience outside of music. This has enabled me to sharpen and enhance my critical thinking and problem-solving skills; thereby making me a better teacher. After earning my Ph.D. degree, I enrolled in law school, where I earned a Juris Doctor degree with honors. After passing the Ohio bar exam, my first job was as a staff attorney for a judge and then I went on to private practice. A few years later, my husband and I moved to Arizona, where I passed the Arizona bar exam and practiced law. However, soon after, my heart pulled me back to my true passions of teaching and music.