I feel so honored to be able to tell people that my career and my passion are one in the same. It's wonderful to have a love for making music and teaching,and be able to do it almost every day. In that I am very blessed. My professional experience includes: over 10 years of teaching piano lessons to hundreds of children, teens and adults; professional accompaniment in local theater companies, schools, and churches; Early Childhood and Music Together class instructor; directing children's choirs; and lots of volunteer positions held in local teaching organizations. I am a strong advocate for musical literacy, and hope to do my part to create opportunities for children and adults in this community to have a source for high quality instruction near thier home.
My educational background starts in Decorah IA, where I studied music and graduated in 2003 with a degree in Music and Arts Management. From there I headed to Bowling Green, Ohio where I was on a teaching assistantship and recieved my Master of Music degree in 2005, emphasis in piano pedagogy (the art of teaching piano). When I moved back to the Twin Cities in 2005, I began my career of teaching, accompanying, and performing in this area. For six years I was on staff at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in S. Mpls as a piano instructor, children's choir director, and acoompanist. I've worked with preschools in the area, notably Hopkins Early Learning Center and Little Acorns Childcare, to develop classroom music for young children. Lately I've also played for local schools, theater companies, in weddings and funerals, and for fun with my band "Riverbend." I was on staff as congregational accompanist at St. Luke Presbyterian Church in Wayzata for 5 years before our second child was born in Feb 2013 (http://stluke.mn/). I am an active member of many local teaching associations including APPI, MTNA, and MMTA. My students have been participants in Educational Field Trips, Festivals, State Piano Competition, and National Assessment Programs!
Music, by its nature, is one of the most connective forces of human experience. It creates relational, spiritual and physical bonds. It ties people together across generations and cultures. Music educators are advocators, facilitating the relationship between students and this experience. My teaching philosophy centers on three tools I use to connect my students with thier musical self. First, I make sure each student is the active participant. They experience by doing, and lessons are full of playing, singing, listening and moving to help discover a deeper understanding of music. They play, and play well! Second, I love to expose my students to a variety of high-quality musical styles. This includes classical piano scores, contemporary, world, jazz, and pop music. I strive to have each student play pieces that incorporate a wide variety of rhythms, note collections, and structures. I love when students bring in their favorite songs to learn, but my hope is that students will also discover new types of music they really enjoy playing and listening to. My third goal in teaching is to raise students who have the freedom and insight to pass thier musical knowledge onto others. "Teach a person to fish" is the mentality. The ultimate goal of any good teacher is that thier knowledge and love of the subject will be passed onto and even bettered by thier students. My greatest hope is that each student, whether they are with me for a year or a decade, will approach the piano with passion, assuredness and thoughtfulness. If they can do this, they will have the momentum to pass that passion onto others. Music should be another language to communicate with, a talent they claim as their own, and a sanctuary to heal and uplift their soul throughout life.