Collegiate piano instruction under the direction of Dr. Ian Altman from 1975- 1979, department of Music, Mercer University.
I owe a great deal to Dr. Altman. Before attending Mercer, my musical education had hit a wall and no matter how much I practiced, I was not progressing. I was extremely discouraged. My hands were too small and my fingers too skinny. (I wore a size 3 wedding and engagement ring until the late 90's.) Under Dr. Altman's instruction, a whole new world opened as he taught me ways to overcome these handicaps. His ability to teach piano technique is amazing. Having experienced these challenges when I entered Mercer and then discovering ways to overcome them has given me an advantage teaching younger students with similar challenges.
Dr. Altman was also my professor for piano pedagogy (the art of teaching). I placed a request in the student post office asking if anyone on campus wanted free piano lessons for a quarter. Each week, under Dr. Altman's supervision, I came to class with my student I affectionately referred to as my guinea pig. Altman critiqued my teaching and offered suggestions. After that course, I accepted a few beginning piano students and discovered a love for teaching. Other courses at Mercer included Voice under the instruction of Dr. John Van Cura, courses in music theory, music history and participation in the Mercer University Choir.
In addition to my studies at Mercer, it was a great honor to work as a research assistant for three years (1976-1979) for Dr. H. Lowen Marshall, chair of the Department of Music. Dr. Marshall also taught music history, published important research, and conducted the Mercer University Choir my freshman and sophomore years.
My position as his research assistant initially began as a way for me to earn credit for a major research paper for Dr. Marshall's Renaissance and Baroque music history class. When he introduced the idea, he suggested that if I succeeded with the initial phase of the project, he would request a research grant from the university. If the grant came through I would be paid as his research assistant.
The rest is a previously unpublished part of music history. I think you'll enjoy the details on the next page of the About Section.
I enjoy developing new ideas to make piano fun and
I find that networking with other teachers all over
the world is a great resource when I need inspiration
or have an idea that is beneficial to others.
Having fun learning piano technique.
"Don't squish Ms. Jan's frog!"
The temptation is just too great. After a successful lesson in technique,
they always "squish my frog."