Susanna Garcia has been teaching piano for over 50 years to students of every age and level. She has been an independent music teacher as well as a college professor and has taught in both the group, private, and partner lesson formats.
An active clinician and scholar, she has presented workshops, papers and master classes for International Society for Music Education, College Music Society, Music Teachers National Association, National Association for Humanities Education, National Group Piano/Piano Pedagogy Forum, Online Learning Consortium, Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy, Louisiana Music Teachers Association, and many state and local piano teaching organizations. Her research has appeared in such publications as 19th Century Music, Interdisciplinary Humanities, Piano Pedagogy Forum, Philosophy of Music Education Review, and American Music Teacher.
A native of Corpus Christi, TX, she has performed both solo and chamber recitals throughout the United States, and in Canada, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Ghana, and has been featured on radio and television.
She performs regularly with pianist William Chapman Nyaho as the Nyaho/Garcia Piano Duo, specializing in both the standard repertoire and newly composed works for piano duo and duet. They released their first CD of Aaron Copland’s two-piano works on Centaur Records (1998) to critical acclaim. Reviews called this recording “the standard against which any future performances of these dances will be measured.” Their recording has been featured on the British Broadcast Corporation Radio Network program “Desert Island Discs,” a program recommending recordings one would wish to have if shipwrecked on a desert island. The Nyaho/Garcia Duo was featured at the 2021 MTNA Virtual Conference.
The Duo’s newest release Five by Four (2022) on MSR Classics (2022) includes contemporary music for piano duo including four world premiere recordings.
Dr. Garcia has served in leadership roles for Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), National Group Piano/Piano Pedagogy Forum (GP3), Louisiana Music Teachers Association (LMTA), and the Lafayette Area Music Teachers Association (LAMTA). She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy and is co-chair of MTNA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) conference track for their national conferences in 2022 and 2033.
Garcia received her undergraduate education at Texas A&M at Corpus Christi. She completed both her MM and DMA at the University of Texas at Austin where she had the privilege of studying pedagogy with Verna Harder, Amanda Vick Lethco, and Martha Hilley. Her piano teachers have included Imelda Delgado, Meryl Ettelson, Gregory Allen, and Danielle Martin.
In May 2021, after 31 years, Garcia retired from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she held the Louisiana Board of Regents/Ruth Stodghill Girard Endowed Professorship in Music. During her tenure there she taught piano, group piano, piano pedagogy and lectured in the Interdisciplinary Humanities program. She directed the Pedagogy Lab Program, an internship program for piano pedagogy students. She has been the recipient of many honors including the University of Louisiana Distinguished Professor Award (2001), Music Teachers National Association Foundation Fellow (2012), Louisiana Music Teachers Association Outstanding Teacher (2013), and the University of Louisiana College of the Arts “Research Excellence Award” (2015). She holds the rank of Professor Emerita of Music.
Garcia is the co-developer of eNovativePiano: Multimedia Resources for Developing Musicianship Skills, which in 2021 was awarded the MTNA- Frances Clark Award for Keyboard Pedagogy.
What Teachers are Saying about eNovativePiano
Immediately Noticed the Difference
“At the beginning of each semester, I immediately noticed the difference between using a regular book and using eNovativePiano. The students are able to have practice sessions that are more productive because of the video clips. Their hand position has been so much better because of the visual reminders. Their rhythm has also greatly improved. I have loved using eNovativePiano. Thank you so much for putting the program together and allowing the rest of us to use it in our classrooms, as well!”
Develops All the Senses
“I’ve been using eNovativePiano as the primary curriculum for our music major piano classes this fall. The approach is thought out very well. It develops all the senses – aural, visual, tactile – for musical fluency at the keyboard. Having the videos and audio exercises available for the students, both in and out of the classroom via internet, is a plus as well. I would strongly encourage any teacher or student to consider using it in their lessons.”
Increased Proficiency Completion Rates
“We really enjoyed using eNovativePiano this year. Our proficiency completion rates went up an average of 11% this year, up from previous years, and the sight-reading category in particular was much improved. We will definitely use it next year. Just let us know what it takes to make that happen, and we’ll do it!”
Flexible & Convenient
“Students like the flexibility that allows them to move at their own pace, whether pushing forward to new material or, if necessary, repeating portions already covered. They especially enjoy the convenience of the program. They don’t have to bring a book to class, and they can do many of the activities away from the piano. They’ve even told me they can “practice” some of the exercises on their cell phones – without the piano OR computer!”
Excellent Tutorial Videos
“An excellent concise format for introducing and reinforcing pattern reading through practice drills and manageable repertoire pieces. Great inclusion of harmonization and improvisation exercises. The website stresses the keyboard skills needed for most instrumentalists and provides an excellent tutorial videos for students to practice outside of class time.”
Refreshing & Much More Interesting
“. . . compared to the textbook which I have used for the last umpteen years, I found it refreshing and much more interesting. Thanks again for creating such a wonderful, rich resource for class piano.”
“I teach 3rd-5th grade piano at an arts and technology school in a 16-keyboard lab setting without any assistance. eNovativePiano has brought ease and amazing results to a job that was nearly impossible and equally frustrating. This wonderful resource has helped me reach the goals that I have set for myself and for my students.”
“There is so much emphasis on proper technique – that’s invaluable. To hear the pieces being played and to see them being played, help you with the positioning of your hand and fingering. It so much better to have audio and video assist you.”
Absolutely Love eNovativePiano
“After using eNovativePiano this year, I would not want to use anything else. I absolutely love eNovativePiano — I actually looked forward to my 8:00am piano classes this year! I think my class piano students achieved a much higher level of fluency using eNovativePiano and I’m especially pleased with the improvement in score reading and in sight reading. The harmonizations were great fun because of the wonderful sound files.”
I LOVE Your Curriculum!
“I am officially 6 weeks in and I LOVE your curriculum. I have never had so many beginning adults students in class piano play with loose wrists, read notes with ease and have such solid rhythmic foundation.”
Can Tailor to Individual Students
“eNovativePiano has been a huge success here. The kids are working at all different levels and improving their skills, and when I was observed, my administrator was extremely impressed with the varied activities and how each student can truly work at their own pace. I think Grandview will be working with you guys for many years to come!”