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 and private lesson formats.
A popular clinician, she has presented workshops for many state and local teacher groups and papers for the International Society for Music Education, College Music Society, Music Teachers National Association, and the National Association for Humanities Education. Her work has appeared in such publications as 19th Century Music, Interdisciplinary Humanities, Piano Pedagogy Forum and American Music Teacher.
Garcia has performed both solo and chamber recitals throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, Ghana, the Caribbean, and Europe, and has been featured on radio and television. Critics praise her “impressive technical skills and musical communication in performance” and her “remarkable critical insights into music.” Her playing has been called “brilliant.” The Thomasville Times (NC) reported, “Garcia dazzled the audience with her technique.”
Garcia, along with pianist William Chapman Nyaho, released the first complete recording of Aaron Copland’s two-piano works on Centaur Records (1998) to critical acclaim. The music is a tribute to the diverse cultures of the Americas – – from plaintive cowboy tunes, exuberant Mexican folk dances, driving Cuban rhythms, to the famous Shaker melody The Gift to Be Simple. 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 featured at the 2021 MTNA Virtual Conference.
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).
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.