Ann Dotter Shurtz

Ann Dotter Shurtz loves teaching children to play the piano! She loves developing musical ability, intelligence, character, discipline, and self-confidence in children and strengthening love and mutual respect between parents and their children through the study of music.

One of her favorite quotes is “Where love is deep, much can be accomplished." --Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Early Experiences 
Ann learned to play piano from her mother and by ear until at age 10 she was privileged to become a student of Nancy Apgar at Oklahoma City University. Mrs. Apgar had earned a master of piano from Eastman and was pianist for the Oklahoma City Symphony. Ann learned to play musically and was chosen to play movements of Mozart Concertos with the Oklahoma City Junior Symphony and the Amarillo Symphony in junior high and high school.

Student Concerts 
The thrill of those experiences later prompted her to create a Mostly Mozart series of concerts with the Central Pennsylvania Suzuki Association (CPSA) for her students. With Ann as artistic director and conductor, her students played movements of the Mozart Double and Triple Piano Concertos, various single movements of Mozart concerti, the Saint Saens G minor concerto and The Carnival of the Animals as well as other concertino arrangements of sonatas, sonatinas and other pieces from the Suzuki piano repertoire. All the students got to play with a chamber orchestra! There was a concert every year, even a virtual one in 2021!-- the pandemic year. The Mozart concerto concerts have been presented 6 times starting in 2005, but the CPSA Piano Chapter concerts have been presented every year since the early 1990s. Ann has been the artistic director of these annual concerts for more than 20 years.

University Education 
Ann graduated from Oklahoma City University, summa cum laude, in biology and music. She was accepted to medical school, but decided she would rather work with minds than fix bodies so she continued in music and earned a master’s degree in Music Theory from the University of Oklahoma with mentor Dr. Gail deStwolinski. She taught music theory two years as a graduate assistant and studied choral conducting with Dr. Bev Henson. She continued post-graduate work at Brigham Young University for two years, teaching music theory and studying choral conducting with Dr. John Halliday and Dr. Ralph Woodward. In addition to teaching piano, Ann has conducted church choirs for almost 50 years.

Continuing Education 
Ann continues to study music, always seeking and valuing what she can learn from others. She has studied at the Aspen School of Music with Juilliard teacher Jeanine Dowis, the Dorothy Taubman Institute, with continued study with Maria del Pico Taylor of Temple University, and the Voice Care Institute where she encountered the Alexander Method. Most recently, she studied for seven years with Gloria Whitney, concert pianist with the Eaken Piano Trio. Ms. Whitney attributed her technique to the Abby Whiteside method. 

Suzuki Piano Training 
Ann immersed herself in the Suzuki Piano method and took her children to many summer institutes where she studied with many fine Suzuki teachers. She is registered in all seven Suzuki Piano books and in overview units and Practicum with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and has studied with the following teacher trainers in Suzuki Piano: Haruko Kataoka, Carole Bigler, Doris Koppelman, Constance Starr, Christine Burczyk Allen, Barbara Barber, Mary Craig Powell, Valery Lloyd-Watts, Katherine Monsour Barley, Fay Adams, Joan Krzywicki, and Caroline Fraser.

Piano Studio and Guild Participation 
Ann maintains an active piano studio of around 40 students now, down from the 60 she taught for years, and has taught piano for almost 50 years. Her students participate in the National Guild Auditions, where many have earned prestigious awards, including Early Bach medals, Advanced Bach medals, Sonatina medals, Sonata medals, Five- and Ten-year awards, Paderewski medals, the 15-year Gold Medal, and High School Diplomas. Her four daughters each studied one or two instruments with the Suzuki method and she now teaches some of her grandchildren. 

Mrs. Shurtz loves her students like her own children, and believes that the early study of piano changes minds, hearts and lives for the good.
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