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About Marie

Giving the gift of music to children is one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life!

I began teaching piano professionally in 1988, shortly after discovering and joining the Utah Music Teachers Association (UMTA). I am a member of two local chapters and have served in these chapters in a variety of positions, including Membership Chair, Teacher Referrals Chair, Webmaster, Recital and Ensemble Chair, Recital Committee member, Secretary, and President of the Sandy Chapter of the Utah Music Teachers Association. I also served as the Festival Chairman for the Sandy Area as part of the Utah Federation of Music Clubs (UFMC), affiliated with the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC).

I have presented workshops on motivational ideas and effective summertime games for piano teachers to the Sandy Chapter, the Jordan River Chapter, and Salt Lake Music Associations, sharing my favorite books to further piano teacher education. I have also been part of a local teacher panel discussing technique, theory, pedagogy, and recitals.

Along with serving in local chapters of the UMTA, I maintain a thriving piano studio. In 2016, I was awarded the Permanent Professional Certified Teacher of Music in Piano, granted by the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA).

I offer a vital mentoring program for high school and college students to mentor current music students. Several of my students have pursued professional pedagogical studies, joined professional music organizations, and are now successfully teaching students of their own.

Over the last 29 years and through the Sandy UMTA, my students and I have organized and participated in large-scale ensemble concerts, some of which were under my direction. These annual eight-piano benefit performances took place in the local mall to benefit those with cystic fibrosis, leukemia, and muscular dystrophy. The most recent benefit concert in May 2013 was for the Nathan and Jennifer Strong family. My students raised significant funding for these causes through their participation. In 2000, we received a grant from the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) for our community efforts.

I enjoy judging music competitions for our local community school district for the Reflections Contest. I also volunteer in local schools teaching music theory, and offer my services at high school music events during the year.

On a Personal Note…

This was an email that was written and sent out to my piano parents and students in September of 2013.

Hi Everyone!

I want you to know that this year (2013) I am celebrating my Music Studio’s 25th anniversary!

Unbeknownst to many of you, I will also be celebrating 20 years of coping with and conquering a physical health challenge. I’d like to share with you how my music, family, and friends (and students and parents) encourage and inspired me to forge forward on my life’s journey.

In January of 1993, I was diagnosed with Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy. I felt my world crashing down around me. I cannot begin to explain the overwhelming terror and fear I felt, as I was told there was no help, cure, nor answers. The only thing I was told was that this is an ugly, slow progressive disease, and basically to have a good day.

As a young mother at the age of 30 with four very young children, I was completely devastated and terrified how this would affect my family, whom I love to the very core of my soul. Would I be the spouse and mother they deserved to have? Would this affect my ability to play the piano, which has been a huge part of my life? Would this have an impact on my ability to teach the students that come to me every week? How was I supposed to handle the trials and traumas of life that were before me? After some time trying to deal with this emotionally, physically, and spiritually, I felt overcome with the loving arms of my Savior, telling me that all would be well. This carries me through daily.

l can recognize the tremendous number of blessings that have come into my life. My heart is full of gratitude. I have dedicated my life to being in the service of my family and my friends as well as the large number of piano students who enter my home every week. I give to all of them 100% of who I am, with hopes to be a positive influence to those around me, and the desire to make a difference in their lives. I choose to focus on the wonderful things life has to offer me. The bottom line is this: I know that this disease does not define who I am, or my ability to love and be loved.

Thank you for your support and love. I look forward to working with you and your children for another 25 years. 🙂

Love,
Marie Harris

“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it” ~ Charles Swindoll