About Nancy

My Musical Life

Music has been at the heart of my life from my earliest years. As a child, I was encouraged to sing by my music-loving parents and extended family. I began piano lessons with my mother, a church organist and choir director, at the age of six. At nine, I took up the french horn and played in band and orchestra for many years. I also joined the high school choir, and found time to play guitar and recorder.

Piano

As a child, I assumed piano was an essential life skill! My mother, aunt, and uncle, all professionals, were always ready to sit down and accompany group singalongs. Even when I was taking french horn lessons in high school and voice lessons in college, I continued to play piano. As a result, I was able to provide piano accompaniment for my students in my role as a school music teacher.

I taught school music classes for many years using the Orff-Shulwerk approach, which allows students to play and create sophisticated-sounding music before learning to read music notation. I loved teaching this way and wished that I could figure out how to teach piano in a similar way.

Then, in 2014, I read about Simply Music Piano and realized it was exactly the method I wanted.  I began studying the method with Barbara Goodchild of Shelburne MA and was thrilled at how it brought new skill, freedom, and joy to my piano playing. I began the teacher training and started working with students myself right away.  In July of 2016 I attended a teacher’s retreat in Seattle, WA, and was privileged to meet Neil Moore, the founder of Simply Music. I was deeply impressed with his sincere commitment to creating “a world where everyone plays.”

I was delighted to find that Simply Music had an affiliated early childhood music program called Music Rhapsody. I became a certified instructor for this program as well, and now teaching Simply Music piano and Music Rhapsody is my passion!

Education and Credentials

Cornell University, B.S., Human Development and Family Studies

University of Massachusetts, B.A., Vocal Music Education

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, M.A., Music

Massachusetts Teaching certification: Music, vocal/instrumental, prek-grade 9

Levels 1,2, and 3 Orff-Shulwerk certification

Registered Simply Music Piano teacher

Certified Music Rhapsody Instructor

Teaching

Many years as a preschool teacher and parent educator.

Mosier Elementary School, South Hadley MA: General music teacher and choral director, 1998-2014.

Pioneer Valley Regional School District: General music teacher at Bernardston Elementary School and Leyden Elementary School: 2016-2018

Teaching Simply Music Piano and Music Rhapsody since 2015.

Performing

Immanuel Lutheran Church, Amherst MA 1988-2019: Junior choir director, Interim choir director, choir member and occasional vocal soloist, occasional Pianist

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Laconia New Hampshire 2019-present: Cantor, occasional pianist

Valley Light Opera, Amherst, MA: Chorus roles and small solos in several productions.

Chorus member: 2014-2019: DaCamera Singers, Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus, Pemigewasset Choral Society

South Hadley Public Schools, Pioneer Valley Public Schools: Piano accompanist for school concerts, plays, assemblies since 1998.

Composing

I have composed and written two plays for children, plus other children’s songs.  I’ve also created many piano arrangements of children’s songs and several arrangements of hymns and folk songs.