Hello! My name is Mariah, and I would love to be your piano teacher.
A bit about me...
I grew up in a musical family with far too many pets! My parents, both professional violinists, encouraged me to begin music lessons at a young age, and being the young rebel I was, I defied the family tradition, and decided to study piano. Thanks to the warm encouragement of my first piano teacher, I quickly fell in love with the instrument for all it's diversity of style, potential for expression, and rhythmic qualities.
I received my BFA in Musical Theatre at Rider University, where in addition to training as a performer, I assistant music directed many university MainStage productions and worked as the accompanist for voice lessons, classes and various masterclasses. I have many years of professional experience as a music director, composer, and teacher, I've performed in numerous actor-musician shows including the leading role in the 2019 National Tour of Once, and recently composed an original score for Twelfth Night at Catskill Mountain Shakespeare. (Check out my music page and acting page for full resumes / more information.)
I am now an active music teacher, pianist, composer, and actor based in Brooklyn, NY and Seattle, WA. I have over 10 years of teaching experience to students ages 4-88! I am an adaptive, empathetic, and passionate teacher, dedicated to meeting students wherever they are, and to using my multifarious musical background to help them to reach their goals!
Scroll down to read my teaching philosophy, testimonials, and some FAQ about lessons.
Contact me with any questions you might have, or to set up your first (free!) trial lesson!
my teaching philosophy
My philosophy as a music teacher is to create an educational experience that is artistically liberating, unconditionally joyous, and universally empowering for everyone involved.
As a proudly neurodivergent person, and someone with many passions, I know from personal experience how vital it is to follow your inspiration in order to sustain attention and achieve success! I believe that music teachers have a responsibility to introduce students to a wide range of musical styles and pursuits, and to follow and nurture the passion of their students.
I was classically trained, and I have a deep appreciation for classical repertoire thanks to my musical upbringing, however, I see music training that relies purely on the study of classical music and Western notation as limiting, and imcomplete. From the beginning, I introduce students to the fundamentals of improvisation, chord reading and composition, and to a range of musical styles in order to foster well-rounded, inspired, independent and versatile musicians.
“Mariah is a wonderful teacher. She brilliantly combines piano exercises and the music we want to play. Every week, after our lessons, I practice and practice because she can tell and makes me proud of myself. ”
— Ellie Fiano, student (age 12)
“Mariah makes piano classes fun and the songs make me feel cheerful. I am excited that I am able to quickly learn so many notes and prepare for my recital!”
— Shreyas Sarvepalli, student (age 7)
“Mariah does a good job of simplifying complex concepts like phrasing and chord progressions. She quickly identifies the problem when I am stuck on something and gives me easy techniques to unblock myself. These classes have helped me catch the details of why composers write in a certain way and I found that quite interesting. Overall, I have progressed from a general curiosity to a deeper interest in learning piano.”
— Sree Sarvepalli, student (age 13)
“My experience with Mariah as my daughter's piano teacher has exceeded my expectations. We were able to transition to virtual lessons seamlessly throughout the pandemic. I've watched my child grow, all while Mariah gently guides her along the way. In moments where my child struggles, Mariah finds perfect ways for her to take challenges head on and come out on the other side. All in all, we're forever grateful to Mariah for being a mentor to our little one. ”
— Stephanie Aviles, parent of student