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Susan Parrish

Scotts Valley CA | 95066

About me

I was born and raised in the musically rich environment of the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota, playing the clarinet in the symphonic orchestra, the concert and marching bands throughout high school. I started formal piano lessons in the 10th grade and went on to receive a BA in Music, Piano Performance from the University of Minnesota. In 1981, I was accepted as a piano student of Karl Ulrich Schnabel and moved to New York City to continue my studies.

Early in college, I discovered the joy and rewards of teaching while working as a teacher’s aide in an elementary school. A passion was born and I began teaching piano privately in 1976. Following that passion, I completed a MA in Education with a Teaching Credential, and a Masters of Education degree in Curriculum Design from Teachers College, Columbia University. I taught music theory, history and orchestra at the LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts in NYC, and then beginning strings and chorus in the elementary and middle schools of Stamford and Wilton, Connecticut.

About ten years ago, I discovered the joy of singing and have performed with the local vocal groups Full Spectrum, Ariose and the Windham Singers. I also performed with the Cabrillo Music Festival in Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” (1999), and Aaron Copland’s “Tenderland” (2000). I currently study voice with Kathleen Kasdorf. I have also performed with other local pianists in the annual Celebrate Piano Ensemble concerts at USCS every spring from 1995-2008.

In addition to teaching piano, I teach an online Fundamentals of Music (MUS 6) at Cabrillo College. This class introduces students to the notation of pitch and rhythm, the construction of scales, key signatures, intervals and chords, and simple composition. Students who successfully complete this class are able to begin or continue their musical studies on different instruments.

Lesson details

I am a fulltime piano teacher offering private piano lessons in my Scotts Valley, CA studio. I have been teaching piano for more than thirty years, first in Minnesota, then in New York City and Connecticut before moving to the Santa Cruz area in 1994. My students range in age from 5 to 70 years old, from beginners through advanced levels of study. Using a variety of different methods, I integrate music theory, classical repertoire and technic, popular music, jazz and improvisation to create an individualized lesson plan for each student. My studio is equipped with a recently purchased new 7 ’4” Bohemian grand piano.

Education and Accreditation

B.A. University of Minnesota
M.A. Teachers College, Columbia University
M.Ed. Teachers College, Columbia University
Member of MTNA
Member of MTAC



more than 20 years


$60 & up


Monday 2pm - 8pm
Tuesday 2pm - 8pm
Wednesday 2pm - 8pm
Thursday 2pm - 8pm
Friday 2pm - 6pm
Saturday N/A - N/A
Sunday N/A - N/A

Teaching location

Teachers Studio


Chamber Music


Alfred Method
Bastien Method
Faber and Faber
Royal Conservatory of Music

Instruments and Subjects

theory – analysis
theory – harmony
theory – music history
theory – rudiments

Levels taught


Type of students

Young Adults



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