I grew up in a musical family in Seattle, WA 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 am now an active music teacher, accompanist, songwriter, and actor based in NYC and Seattle. I received my BFA in Musical Theatre at Rider University, where I also assistant music directed many university MainStage productions and worked as an accompanist for voice lessons and various masterclasses. I also recently toured the country playing the leading role of Girl in the 2019 National Tour of ONCE, an actor-musician musical.
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 helping them to reach their musical goals.
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 an adult with diagnosed ADHD and a person 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, wherever it may lead.
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 notation reading as limiting, and not a full music education. 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, and versatile young 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 (current student)
“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 current student)
“My favorite part of taking lessons with Mariah is that she is always super supportive. Even if I don’t hit a note correctly, she still gives me the confidence to try again with a new technique. ”
— Lexi Pelzer (current student)
ARE YOU OFFERING VIRTUAL LESSONS?
Yes! I have been teaching virtual lessons with great success since March, 2020 using Zoom, FaceTime or whatever platform works best for the student. Not only does this provide a safe option for learning during a pandemic, but it allows me to reach students all across the country! To set up a trial lesson, please contact me.
I'M NEW TO PRIVATE LESSONS - WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
During your first lesson, we'll discuss your musical goals, get to know each other, and start in on learning some music! If you'd like to continue, we will schedule a time to meet for a lesson weekly (either 30, 45, or 60 minutes long, depending on what's best for the student) and I will give you an assignment to practice throughout the week. We'll work from a range of materials including a lesson book, personalized exercise, outside material, and any songs you might want to work on.
HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE FOR LESSONS?
Please contact me for rates!
DO YOU OFFER NEED-BASED SCHOLARSHIPS?
I really don't want a lack of funds to get in the way of someone being able to take music lessons. If you are in a position where you can pay full price, it will allow me to provide affordable lessons to those that can't. If you need a reduced rate, please let me know your situation and we can find a price that works for you.
I THINK I WANT TO TRY PIANO LESSONS, BUT I'M NOT SURE IF THIS WILL BE A GOOD FIT...
I offer trial lessons at 50% off (or whatever price you can afford)! Contact me to set up a trial lesson.
DO YOU TEACH ANYTHING BESIDES PIANO?
Yes! I offer musical theatre coaching, acting coaching, as well as lessons in songwriting and accompanying. To learn more about my experience in these fields, check out my acting and music pages on this website, or contact me directly.