Music Theory, Piano
Where are Lessons Offered
In Teacher Studio
In Student Home
Valerie Mishek, pianist, has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist in the U.S.A. and Europe. Ms. Mishek lives in Littleton, Colorado where she teaches piano students in her own studio. In over 34 years of teaching, the students of Ms. Mishek have received many honors, including a first prize at the Yamaha Competition in Denver in 2007, a third prize at the Kawai competition in 2007, a third prize in 2012 at the Schmitt Music Competition, and a Second prize at the Foothills Music Teachers Association in the most advanced category of the Sonatina Festival in 2014.
Ms. Mishek emphasizes musicality, technique and a strong foundation in theory and music history. Her students demonstrate a fluid arm weight technique with strong finger action resulting in beautiful tone and brilliant playing. Her students perform often in public settings as well as competitions and auditions. She belongs to Music Teachers National Association, Colorado State Music Teachers Association, Denver Area Music Teachers Association and Foothills Music Teachers Association where numerous competitive and non-competitive events are offered. Her students also participate in National Piano Guild auditions yearly.
About her teaching: Two of the judges from the National Guild Auditions stated, "This is one of the most artistic auditions I have heard. Such beautiful attention to phrasing and technique. Congratulations--Great Teaching!" and "Your students are the best I heard on this tour. Congratulations!"
My Musical Education Background
Valerie Mishek received her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Texas at Austin in May 1993. In February 1993, she performed the Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major with the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra after winning the 1992-93 University Concerto Competition.
Valerie Mishek was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study piano and German in Vienna, Austria in 1990-91, and attended the world-renowned Vienna Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts as a pupil of Professor Carmen Graf-Adnet. Ms. Mishek was invited by the German Fulbright program to perform as soloist, accompanist and chamber musician during the Fulbright “Berlin Week” Concert in the Konzertsaal der Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. Ms. Mishek was also featured as soloist and accompanist in the Austrian Fulbright sponsored “Kammermusik in Heiligenkreuz” June 1991. In 1994, Ms. Mishek returned to Vienna where she performed the opening recital of the Bösendorfer International Piano Academy in Vienna, Austria. Ms. Mishek was also a post-graduate pupil of Professor Krassimira Jordan for three years. During the same trip to Europe, Ms. Mishek was invited by the Austrian Fulbright sponsored Austrian-American educational commission’s “Kammermusik in Heiligenkreuz” where she performed a solo recital in the “Königsaal” of the Stift Heiligenkreuz (Heiligenkreuz Monastery) located in the Vienna Woods.
She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance with Honors from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1988 where she studied with Professor Larry Graham. While at CU Boulder, she was the recipient of various awards including Fiske Scholarships and the Outstanding Graduating Student Award. While still an undergraduate, Ms. Mishek studied at the Aspen Music School as a scholarship student of Ann Schein.
Ms. Mishek has performed in masterclasses by Nelita True, Edith Oppens, Anthony De Mare, Krassimira Jordan, Andrew Cooperstock, Angela Chang and José Feghali.
Genres and Subjects Taught
Students learn music reading from the beginning. A comprehensive theory and ear-training education is taught alongside piano playing. The students also learn proper piano technique so that they have the skills to play repertoire that is appropriate to their level. Each student is taught individually and repertoire and technique is tailored to each student's unique ability. Musicality and proper technique are emphasized in every lesson.
Rates are provided upon request.
Ages / Skill Levels Taught
Ages 4 through Adult welcome!!!
My Certifications and Awards
In October 2009, Ms. Mishek performed a sold out concert featuring a Spanish music program paired with photographs taken by Valerie Mishek and Ferenc Gyulafia in Spain in April and May 2006. The program entitled “¡España!: A Glimpse of Spain in Music and Pictures” featured music of Soler, Albeniz, Granados, de Falla and Scarlatti.
In January 2005, Ms. Mishek won first prize at the Metro State College 'Piano Celebration' Concerto Competition. On April 1, 2005, Ms. Mishek performed the Piano Concerto #2, Op. 19 by Beethoven with the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Dr. Horst Buchholz conducting, to a capacity audience at the King Center Concert Hall on the Auraria Campus in Denver.
On April 10, 2005, Ms. Mishek made her radio broadcast debut on KPOF Denver with this performance with orchestra.
On October 10, 2004, Valerie Mishek performed a solo recital in Hamilton Hall at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Denver sponsored by Bösendorfer International and Onofrio Piano Company.
Ms. Mishek has also attended the World Piano Pedagogy Conference and was chosen by audience choice to win the “Piano Idol” award in several groups of variations in her performance of the Beethoven 32 Variations in c minor in Nashville in 2003.
She has also attended many other national conferences in cities in North America, including the MTNA conferences in New York City, Nashville, Washington DC, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Toronto, Canada and Denver. She has also attended three World Piano Pedagogy conferences in Las Vegas and Nashville.
My Musical Influences
The most important musical influences in my life have been the great teachers with whom I was so fortunate to have studied. The most influential teachers have been Mr. Larry Graham, Ms. Patricia Parraguez-Chen and Ms. Krassimira Jordan. Of course, playing the masterpieces of such great composers as Beethoven, Schumann, Scarlatti and the great Spanish masters have added much to my life.
In addition to my teachers, I've enjoyed learning from my colleagues in my music teacher groups. They have been invaluable to my growth as a musician and teacher.
"Ms. Mishek’s experience as a professional musician and pianist gives her a solid background for teaching students whose goal is to move beyond ordinary piano-playing into the world of music. She is passionate about music, piano, and teaching. She is patient with her students, accepting them where they are. And she is persistent in challenging them to go further. Every lesson combines elements of understanding the music better, feeling it more deeply, and developing the technique necessary to express the music. I always leave her studio with enthusiasm and excitement!"Gerald Bryan, Adult Piano Student
" I have known Valerie Mishek for many years. As a junior high and high school student, she studied piano with me and she was an outstanding student. In addition to her regular weekly lessons, she participated in my piano pedagogy workshops and she started teaching a few students when she was 14 years old. She went off to college as a piano major and then to graduate school including her year abroad in Vienna as a Fulbright Scholar. In 1996, she settled down in Littleton, Colorado where she started a very successful piano studio after teaching for years in Parker, Colorado and Austin, Texas. Valerie and I have now become colleagues and friends. I can testify that she is a very devoted, creative and excellent piano instructor. In addition to her teaching, she continues to grow as a pianist, practicing hard learning new repertoire and giving recitals and concerts which are a great inspiration to her students."Patricia Parraguez-Chen, pianist, piano instructor and author of My World of Piano
"Valerie Mishek has been teaching my daughter since she was four years old. She is now thirteen and plays beautifully. This is due to Valerie’s dedication and unwavering expectation of excellence as well as parental support. I can’t say enough good things about Valerie and the pride she takes in ensuring her students play at their maximum potential. Valerie has been an instrumental positive influence in my daughter’s life. When my daughter plays in public, I am reminded that her skills are far above those of others in her age group taught by other teachers. My daughter recently sat down at a public piano and played a piece from memory in front of 30 strangers with no prompting from anyone. Many were pleasantly surprised that it was not a child banging on a piano, but a piece well performed. This is a testimony to Valerie’s skills and expectation for excellence." Meg Romano Meg Romano's Music Education Philosophy: "As a parent, I do not see music as an extracurricular activity. I see music as part of my child’s education. Piano not only teaches musical skills, but instills confidence, reinforces math, logic, reading, discipline, study skills, concentration, and dexterity. As Valerie challenges my child, there are times when she does not meet Valerie’s expectations. At that point it is up to me as the parent to support Valerie and help my child to work through the difficult situation. Not only does this teach discipline, it helps my child see her potential and gives her confidence when she finally masters a difficult piece. Therefore, it is a required subject that deserves as much attention as math, language arts, science etc. This expectation has helped my daughter work through many difficult pieces. Over the last summer, I was pleasantly surprised to see my daughter download a difficult classical piece and learn it on her own. She truly loves music now and is excited to expand her knowledge to other instruments. This can only occur if she is expected to work through the difficulties in mastering new pieces and new skills."
"One only needs to listen to students of Valerie Mishek to appreciate the difference a quality teacher can make. Valerie’s piano students consistently play with beautiful tone and masterful phrasing. They approach the keyboard with poise and confidence, playing with a solid technique and listening carefully to the music they are expressing. Even her youngest beginners exhibit these qualities. As a fellow pianist and teacher, it is evident to me that Valerie has a gift for awakening the musical spirit in each of her students. She combines her experience as an accomplished pianist and an insightful teacher to successfully guide her students in the pursuit of pianistic artistry." Jan Miller Romero, B.M., M.M. pianist and piano instructor