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Joanne McConnell-Barnes

Dubuque, IA 52003 (map)

Lessons Offered

Piano, Music

Where are Lessons Offered

In Teacher Studio

In Student Home

About Me

Hello and Welcome! I have much experience in teaching piano, beginning with students when I was 15. Many of my former students going on to college to study music, a teacher's greatest joy. Some of my former students have earned a music minor, BA, or Master's Degree in music. I have also had a number of students that have attended university to study for their Master's or their Doctorates in other fields, such as medicine, veterinary science, college professors, and other field that require advanced degrees. One of my former students teaches and studies at Yale! My education includes a BA from Gustavus Adolphus College in St Peter, MN, an outstanding private Lutheran college. I have also studied graduate level courses in music education at the University of St Thomas in St Paul, MN, another outstanding private school. I have over 40 years of experience in teaching piano. I started teaching piano privately while I was in high school, at age 15. Besides teaching, I am a songwriter/ composer who has won a number of awards in songwriting contests. Recently I have been commissioned to write for Hymnus, a select SATB choir in New Prague, MN.

I look forward to starting new students. I strongly emphasize note reading, which is the basis for independent practice, and for learning new songs. I do not play songs for the students when they are first assigned. Instead, I have them read through a song at their lessons, with my help if needed. My curriculum leans more toward classical music, but I love to teach jazz also. Jazz is a totally different style that a lot of classical musicians really don't understand. All students work on scales, arpeggios and such as part of the curriculum. Hand position, posture and proper technic is built into every lesson. There my be some opportunities for ensemble playing. I accept students from any age group and any level. I look forward to hearing from you and teaching you and/or your children!

My Musical Education Background

Before I entered college, I had 11 years of piano study. I studied about 2 years of pre-college pipe organ. Graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, St Peter, MN. BA in music, with piano as the main instrument, and a specialty in elementary school music and instrumental music. During my college years I had an additional 4 years of piano study, for a total os 15 years of lessons. Studied pipe organ on the huge organ in Christ Chapel. French horn was my minor instrument, although as an instrumental major, I had to learn to play all the band/orchestra instruments. Graduate studies in music education at the University of St Thomas, St Paul, MN. Studied Orff and Kodaly approaches to music education.

Genres and Subjects Taught

Traditional, Classical and Jazz

Remedial lessons for those who have had previous lessons and need help reading notes

A student recital in the spring




Lesson Rates

One free lesson offered to get to know each other. Owning an instrument is not necessary for the free lesson. Students may practice on a keyboard for the first 3 months following the first lesson. After 3 months, please be prepared to invest in a quality 88 key digital piano (electronic) or an acoustic piano (traditional). If you need to find a piano, I can help. A quality instrument is required for a student's success at the piano!

Tuition: $22 per half hour, based on my top-notch qualifications and my history of successful students. The quality of lessons is exceptional, and students learn the skills necessary to play well.

I teach from my home studio only, and I do not travel to students' homes. The students play on my beautiful 6'4" Steinway Boston grand piano. Besides being a beautiful instrument, the piano has a wonderful sound, touch and response. It is also kept in tune.

My home is a non-smoking area, and I have no pets. It is a quiet place without distractions.

Ages / Skill Levels Taught

All ages, all levels

My Certifications and Awards

Nationally Certified Teacher of Music

Music Teachers National Association

Iowa Music Teachers Association

Minnesota Music Teachers Association, state officer, adjudicator for state contests, piano exams and music theory exams

Minneapolis Music Teachers Forum, board of directors

Minnesota Valley Music Teachers Association, recital judge

My Musical Influences

The positive energy of the piano lesson makes a perfect circle. The energy flows from me to the student, and from the student to me. I aim for a trusting relationship with the student. When that happens, the music flows.

My greatest musical influences are Johannes Brahms and Paul McCartney, as well as anyone who inspired me to go forward with my music!

Service Area

Student Reviews

Inver Grove Heights, MN

My daughter and I took piano lessons together when she was around 8 years old. I had always wanted to, and decided that was as good a time as any. Joanne was terrific with both of us, very patient, professional and good humored. My daughter sadly lost interest within a year, but I kept going by myself for another year. Joanne and I played a duet at the spring recital and other adults in the audience were very impressed! Joanne is an all-around good egg! :o)

New Prague, MN

A tribute to a great piano teacher..thanks for inspiring my son...I agreed with all you teaching methods, very professional!

Belle Plaine, MN

Joanne was my music teacher when I was 47 years old. I loved the song Greensleeves and wanted to learn how to play it. I figured if I took piano lessons and learned how to play that song, I could hear it any time I wanted. Joanne was a great teacher and I miss her up here in Minnesota. Joanne taught me how to play and enjoy piano at the ripe old age of 47!

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