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Fairfax Conservatory Of Music

Fairfax, VA 22030 (map)

Lessons Offered

Composition, Guitar, Harp, Harpsichord, Keyboard, Music, Music Theory, Piano, Singing, Viola, Violin

Where are Lessons Offered

In Teacher Studio

About Me

***Visit our website for lessons***


Founded in 2009, Fairfax Conservatory of Music is a school dedicated to the creative enrichment of the community. We offer artistic, personalized lessons to students of all ages, levels, and musical backgrounds with an emphasis on creative learning and technique. Never before has music education been at such a crossroads between tradition/modernism, acoustic/technology, and in-person/virtual reality. FCM is a member of the Music Teacher's National Association (MTNA) and Northern Virginia Music Teacher's Association (NVMTA), providing additional recital, competition, and audition opportunities. 

We take great pride in our high caliber Faculty. Their achievements, professional experience, and high level training are the cornerstone of our studio. Our teachers are at the top of their fields as both teachers and active musicians/performers. Their credentials and experience are second-to-none. We strongly believe in leading by example to maintain the best teaching standards and inspire our students.


Whether you or your children are looking for beginner lessons or are just wanting to improve technique, our faculty has diverse and experienced backgrounds that will help you achieve your goals. We aim to nurture your ability to listen and understand the difference between just playing notes vs. making genuine music. Join us, in these unprecedented times, on a journey of self-discovery and enhanced worldview. Nurture your inner artist. 

We Develop Artistry.

My Musical Education Background

fCM is known in the Northern Virginia area for having more qualified and more experienced teachers. Some of the accomplishments by our Faculty include having played for the American Choral Directors Association honor choirs, won 1st prize in the MTNA Young Artist State Piano Competition, won 1st prize at the 32nd International Young Artist Piano Competition, premiered at the Kennedy Center, been prize recipients of the Pauline Favin Memorial Award and the Clara Ascherfeld Award, registered with the Suzuki Association of the Americas, toured with the US Guitar Orchestra, served as ensemble director for the Romero Guitar Institute, taught at University of Rio Grande, played as the guest composer for the 2020 Marlow Guitar International Youth Guitar Competition, created original music that was played on over 177 global television networks cumulative, been printed and featured in newspapers, appeared on national radio stations such as WCNY and the Pacifica Foundation, internationally toured, performed with acts associated and signed with Fearless Records, Hopeless Records, Rise Records, Victory Records, Invogue Records, and Spinefarm Records. 

Our instructors have received education from the following:

  • Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

  • London College of Music

  • Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University

  • Berklee College of Music

  • Northwestern University

  • Shenandoah Conservatory

  • Eastern New Mexico University

  • Florida State University

  • University of Oklahoma

  • University of Central Oklahoma

  • University of Wisconsin

  • University of Houston

  • Radford University

  • Marshall University

  • Taller de Arte Sonoro 


Genres and Subjects Taught

Private lessons consist of individually tailored instruction and planning. A wide range of styles and techniques is covered to suit the desires of the student. Styles include: Classical Piano, Composition, Jazz Fundamentals, Contemporary Music, Improvisation, and even Songwriting. Music Theory is integrated into the lessons according to the student's stylistic area of focus. Though performing is encouraged, it is an optional part of training, and performance preparation takes place throughout the year.

Recitals are free and open to the public. Adult students who choose not to perform in Recitals have the opportunity to attend an organized Performance Class for a more informal, interactive experience with like-minded students.

Lesson Rates

Please visit our website for rates. 

Ages / Skill Levels Taught

All levels of children and adults, from beginner to advanced.

My Certifications and Awards

Please visit our website to further evaluate our staff and their accomplishments.

My Musical Influences

My Teachers
The Golden Age of Pianists
Emil Gilels, Sviatoslav Richter, Radu Lupu
World Music
Music and Neuroscience, Psychology of Music
Music as Cultural Connection/Universal Language
The Romantic Composers

Service Area

Student Reviews

Fairfax, VA

My daughter has been with Ms. Gretchen Sterling for over 3 years now. I am so grateful to have found her as my daughter's piano teacher. Ms. Sterling is very patient with all the kids. She uses kids friendly technics to get her points across. Ms. Gretchen does a great job with teaching technics, theories and makes learning piano fun. If there is a piece of music my daughter is interested in, she has always been accommodating and eager to help my daughter learn. She uses positive re-enforcement and sense of humor to encourage and motivate my daughter. Ms. Sterling takes piano teach very seriously. She invests in top of the line Grand Piano for her students. My daughter enjoys playing piano a lot more because of Ms. Sterling. I highly recommend Ms. Gretchen Sterling to anyone who is seeking a piano teacher.

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