Being a piano teacher isn't just a profession, it is a passion.
I have found that being a piano teacher is the most rewarding job; I am not just teaching notes - I am touching lives! Being a teacher is truly an amazing responsibility that extends far beyond teaching students to play a musical instrument. Our actions can instill a love of music and the desire to learn - it can nurture a sense of independence and the self-confidence to take on challenges and solve problems, not to mention enhance children's self-esteem. The caring trusting relationships between my students and myself make my job the best. I love to think of the miraculous gift of music that I am giving to students and to everyone who hears them.
Beyond being a teacher, my crucial responsibility is to serve as a healthy role model, demonstrating caring and excellence that challenge each student to become committed, to whatever degree talent and aspiration allow.
A little bit about me...
I started playing the piano when I was 8 years old. Throughout the 10 years of classical study with my aunt, Janet Alessi, I learned to love music and it became the main passion of my life. Throughout my high school years, I performed extensively and participated in numerous local, state, and national competitions and evaluations. My aunt gave me the gift of music, and she is one of the main reasons that I am teaching today.
Throughout my studies with my aunt, I participated in the National Piano Guild Auditions, I participated in the SMEA annual piano student evaluations, where I was honored with five gold medals. Through NJMEA, I participated in their annual concert auditions, for which I received a five-year trophy for being selected to perform in their recitals for five consecutive years.
In 1993, I was selected through SMEA to perform for their annual showcase recital, in which I received an "Outstanding Performance Award." Also in 1993, I was chosen as the Monmouth County Representative for the NJ State Teen Arts Festival.
During high school, I began performing for private parties and wedding ceremonies, as well as volunteering performances for senior citizens homes and local community recitals. I was the choral accompanist for both the elementary and high school productions. For two summers, I attended Stokes Forest Music Camp and studied under recording artist, Joseph Smith.
In 1996 I graduated from Ocean Township High School as a Spartan Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society. I was voted for senior superlative as "Most Musical!"
Teaching piano was always something I wanted to do, even from a very young age. I admired my aunt for all that she accomplished and hoped that I could follow in her footsteps. With her guidance, I decided to take on some private piano students. While I was a junior in high school, I advertised locally with flyers and gained some students. Throughout my college years, I would come home on the weekends to keep up with the piano lessons. Some of my very first students still remain taking lessons with me today! I am very proud to say that some of them have even gone on to study music in college and have taken on piano students themselves.
The College years…
I attended Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ. It was there that I studied under Veda Zuponcic for four years. While attending Rowan, I was Vice President of the University Piano Forum as well as accompanist to the many musicians at the college. While living in southern Jersey, I taught piano at the New Jersey School of Music and Old Towne Music. In 1997, I joined Montclair State University's Summer Program at Stokes Forest, NJ, where I was a counselor, piano teacher, ensemble coach and theory teacher for several summers. Along with my college studies and private piano lessons, I continued to perform for private parties and ceremonies and also accompanied local schools and preschools. I graduated from Rowan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music in 2000.
After graduating from Rowan, in September of 2000, I became the Music Director at Chesterbrook Academy in Voorhees, NJ. I taught music for grades K-8, as well as directed two musicals and the school talent show. During that time, I also gave after school piano lessons. I would continue to come home on the weekends to give piano lessons for my "Ocean crew." After completing my year at Chesterbrook, I decided to leave and focus my efforts fully to The Piano Room, as well as continue with my music studies.
While living in Voorhees, I taught piano lessons privately and began my association with the Community Education Recreation (CER) Program for Voorhees Township. Through the CER Program, I offered piano lessons, as well as music theory and music history classes. I continued to go home on the weekends to teach my Ocean students as well as teaching at Monmouth Music in Red Bank. In 2004, I moved the South Jersey studio to Haddonfield, where lessons were held at the Conservatory of Musical Arts for two years. I then became the assistant director of Stokes Forest Music Camp.
In 2007, I married the love of my life, Bill, and over the past ten years, I have moved my studio back home to Monmouth County. Bill and I have four beautiful children together, Ellen, Bill Jr., Emily and Anthony. I'm currently balancing my time between raising those four angels and teaching my wonderful group of students. I also continue to further my studies in both piano performance, as well as piano pedagogy. In 2017, I became a licensed Kiddy Keys Instructor, and I am currently enrolled in Julliard's Piano Artistry Class taught by Dr. Michael Shinn.
The Piano Room is home to a spectacular group of students who make each and every day a delightful reminder of why I chose this profession!
New Jersey Music Educators Association
Shore Music Educators Association
Music Teachers National Association
American College of Musicians
National Guild of Piano Teachers
The Cecilian Music Club