Currently serving on the faculty at the Goshen College Community School of the Arts, Mary Rose Norell enjoys teaching students of all ages and abilities. With over ten years of experience in teaching private piano lessons, Mary Rose has developed her pedagogical skills to the point that she recently served as Assistant to Dr Karen Taylor in the Piano Pedagogy Department at Indiana University. For this position, she observed and trained beginning teachers, and graded the students' written observations, while offering extensive feedback. Dr. Norell teaches at all levels, from early beginners to advanced students, working with 4 and 5 year olds to teaching retirees. While studying at Northwestern University, she enjoyed working with group piano classes and giving private lessons to non-music major university students as part of the Internship in Teaching under Dr Marcia Bosits.
Mary Rose firmly believes that there is no better training for young people in developing character and imagination than taking music lessons. Years of study help instill a steady work ethic, discipline in setting and achieving goals, and learning to express the inmost, unutterable emotions through the language of music. Furthermore, the development of the gift of music carries with it the innate quality of a life of service: music is meant to be shared, and students learn the value of sharing their talents with others by performing for the joy of the listener. This particular benefit shaped Mary Rose as a young girl, playing for nursing home communities and church assemblies; and she advocates the same method of giving back to her own students.
Dr. Norell teaches with a Socratic method, asking questions of her students instead of prompting or feeding answers to them. When a student is able to articulate the details of a musical or theoretical concept, it ensures that she is internalizing its meaning. If you give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day; if you teach him to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime: spoon-feeding information to a student adjusts their playing for a week, but helping them to develop and internalize the understanding of proper playing and musicianship will allow the student to extrapolate phrasing or fingering or articulation for himself.
Additionally, Mary Rose teaches theory in all private piano lessons, creating the groundwork for students of all levels to be able to sight-read, play by ear, transpose, and memorize more ably and efficiently. While she expects high standards out of all of her students, she maintains an open mind about their other activities; Mary Rose benefited greatly from her serious study of violin and tennis and focus on her academics in her pre-college career, and she values those opportunities for her own students.
If you would like to know more information about Mary Rose's teaching style or rates and availability, please use the contact form available on this website.