Valerie Merrell is a classically trained pianist who has been playing the piano for over 25 years, and teaching professionally in private and group environments since 2005. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Brigham Young University, with an emphasis in Piano Performance and Pedagogy. This advanced training in music performance, theory, technique, and music history is passed on to her students as a key component of both private and group lessons.
I believe music has something to offer everyone! Goals may range from pure enjoyment of a specific style of music to a career in music, and I am happy to guide and assist you with reaching those goals.
I am a strong believer in off-the-bench learning for young children. Valuable time at the keyboard is interspersed with hands-on activities aiding students to learn musical concepts which can then be applied back at the keyboard.
I want my students to appreciate music, to feel inspired to learn about music. I want them to enjoy music and to challenge themselves to become better. I want to help my students learn the musical terminology and the notes and the rhythms, but even more I want to help them move beyond these to become musicians.
I encourage cooperative learning through group lessons. I want my students to increase their musical abilities by performing in skilled ensembles and developing performance and listening skills.
I believe music lessons teach students so much more than simply how to read notes or press keys.
Music encompasses math, foreign language, history, art, and life skills. All these are integrated in our lessons.
Most of all, I love teaching piano! It is incredibly rewarding, and I plan to continue teaching piano for many, many years.
Valerie is a member of Birmingham Metro Music Forum, Alabama Music Teachers Association, and Music Teachers National Association, and has served in similar organizations while teaching in Atlanta, Georgia and Tucson, Arizona. In 2010 she served as co-organizer of the annual conference of the Arizona State Music Teachers Association. Her students have performed in TMTA Ensemble performances, in the GCMTA Federated Festival, and in studio recitals. Valerie has also worked as the music instructor for the preschool at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lilburn, GA.