Jean Elder


Jean received her Master’s Degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from Penn State University, where she held a graduate assistantship and studied with Dr. Christopher Guzman. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from Ithaca College, where she studied with Dr. Jennifer Hayghe. Jean began her studies at age five with Julia Hawkins and attended the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.

Jean has performed in numerous ensemble and solo recitals, and has performed in masterclasses for esteemed pianists such as Jerome Lowenthal, Gilbert Kalish and Awadagin Pratt. She has extensive teaching experience through an internship at Ithaca College, her pedagogy degree and assistantship duties at Penn State, as well as through years of private teaching. Jean is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.

Birthday – March 22

Schools Attended – Runkle, Brookline High, NEC Prep, Penn State, Ithaca College

Instruments You Teach – Piano

Age you Started Lessons – 5

Performances –

Penn State Performances:

Solo Master’s Degree Recital (February, 2014), Solo Performance Certificate Recital (April 2012), Opera Acting Class, Bernstein, Trouble in Tahiti (April 2012)

Ithaca College Performances:

Chopin Festival Concert (Fall 2010), Senior Recital (Fall 2010), Half Recital at Corning Community College, Corning, NY (Fall 2010), Piano Vocal Duos Concert (Spring 2010), Junior Recital (Spring 2010), Piano Instrumental Duos Concert (Fall 2009), Chamber Music Concert (Spring 2009)

High School:

Performance at Jordan Hall (2006), New England Conservatory Preparatory School Recitals, Annual New England Piano Teachers Association Recitals


Jerome Lowenthal – solo work (Fall 2011), Awadagin Pratt – solo work (Fall 2009), Gilbert Kalish – cello and piano duo (Fall 2009)

Favorite Music to Listen to – I love listening to classical music (especially piano), but I also love listening to jazz! Duke Ellington is a favorite.

Favorite Music to Play – Classical music is my favorite. I like Romantic Era composers like Chopin and Schumann and also more modern composers, such as Bartok and Prokofiev.

Other hobbies/interests – I like to run, cook and spend time with family and friends. I like to be outside when the weather is nice!

Where you were born/grew up – I was born in Boston and grew up in Brookline

Practice Tips – Always have goals with your practicing. What do you want to accomplish in your practice session? Maybe you can fix your counting in one section, or practice a really hard part until it feels easy. Don’t set goals that are impossible (like learning your whole piece in one sitting) – choose challenges that you can complete!

Remember to always try to make your music sound as beautiful and interesting as possible – even when you’re practicing and maybe nobody else is listening!