The truth about me: I am an obsessive teacher, (you either like me or you don’t) wanting to make sure my students understand their lessons and musical concepts. I am always researching how people learn, wanting to make the best of lesson time. Sometimes I get carried away on a concept and go off on a tangent. I go with the flow. Sometimes my students just need to talk, and sometimes they like to show off a masterpiece they have learned on another instrument they play (with a different teacher). I like having my students participate in recitals and festivals. Some of my students have won scholarships, and some would rather not go that route.
I have been known to make you tubes for my students – like about a hundred of them on my you tube channel. I do expect parents to make sure their children take the time to watch these videos, and also to print off any material I provide/send during the week, such as theory worksheets or anything pertinent I may find relevant to their lessons.
I have 2 cats. Suki sometimes likes to participate in the lesson. She loves kids, and she loves music. Mia will likely not show her face, unless you are an older female harp student.
I adore my students. Oh – I also have worked with special needs kids.
Mary Radspinner is best known in the harp world as co-owner of Melody’s Traditional Music (Cypress, TX), where she works behind the scenes on the website and edits music for Afghan Press Music for the Harp. An Alverno (Milwaukee) grad, Mary shares her musicality in both Milwaukee and Houston. She has served as president of the Int’l Folk Harp Society and as regional director of the American Harp Society. Mary recently completed 3 years as Music Director/Organist at St. Therese in Milwaukee. She also taught harp and piano for the Milwaukee Public Schools, where her students have won scholarships, 1st places in WSMA, and participated in the Nat’l Piano Guild Auditions. Mary also plays with the Irish Fest Peace and Justice Orchestra, the Menomonee Falls Symphony, as a duo with Milwaukee hornist Mike Keegan, and as guest musician at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Brenham (TX)
I have performed and taught throughout the US, and I have knowledge of arranging, publishing and music notation programs. My degree is in music education, and I have a lifetime certification as a music educator in the state of Texas (PK-12). I’ve taught everything from band to music theory to sight reading. I am formerly Yamaha certified, and currently Muskigarten certified. For a 5-year period I was first call sub harpist for the Houston Symphony, and for 2 seasons I played second harp in the Houston Ballet orchestra. As a publisher of harp print music, I have extended knowledge of harp pedagogy. My first love was piano, starting lessons in the 2nd grade. I studied at the prestigious Layton School of Music/St. Joseph Convent in Milwaukee, WI. I love to accompany and play with other people. I was the staff pianist for the Waller ISD choir department during 2015/2016.
My Teaching Philosophy
Music is about self expression. Your instrument is an extension of yourself. I respect the reasons people make music, and realize it is not solely to win competitions. Adult students generally wish to play for self enjoyment, younger students are involved in orchestra or school ensembles. Each individual’s involvement in music is unique and is to be respected. The teaching reflects the student and their needs.
Rates And Availability
I teach out of my home in Cypress, TX, and online where I enjoy students from near and far. My rates are based on location, length of lesson, group or private. I am currently taking students for winter of 2020. I have 7 openings.
More about me: Mary studied piano at the prestigious St. Joseph Convent Music school in Milwaukee, WI throughout grade school and high school. In Junior High she began harp studies with Jeanne Henderson in the Milwaukee Public School System.
She also studied string bass. cello, guitar, violin and voice. In 1977 she earned degrees in applied harp and music education from Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI. During the next 10 years she taught elementary general music, elementary band, choir and music theory. Along with teaching in the public schools, Mary taught harp privately. She is trained in the Yamaha keyboard method, and is licensed and certified to teach the excellent MusikGarten curriculum.
Mary free-lanced in Houston for over 2 decades, also serving as substitute harpist with the Houston Symphony and second harpist with the Houston Ballet Orchestra.
She has served as president of the San Jacinto Chapter of the American Harp Society, SW Regional director of the American Harp Society, president of the International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen, and Scottish Harp Society. She chaired the International Folk Harp Conference held in Galveston in 1998 and has served as editor-in-chief of the Folk Harp Journal for a six-issue interim.
In 1993 Mary and her husband John Gill opened Melody’s Traditional Music & Harp Shoppe, a harp specialty store. In 1999 they established Afghan Press Music for the Harp, specializing in harp music publications. Afghan Press is named after John and Mary’s beloved Afghan Hound, Melody. (1987 – 1998).
Mary instituted the harp events at the TX Scottish Festival in Arlington, and has chaired the harp competition events for the Houston Highland Games. She was a winner in the Florida Summer Harp Seminar pop harp competition in 1994, and is the 1995 Texas champion Scottish harper. She performs and gives workshops throughout the country on harp techniques for relaxation, ensemble ideas and improvisation.
Memberships: American Harp Society, Scottish Harp Society of America, American Guild of Organists, MacDowell Club of Milwaukee, International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen, Music Teachers National Association, Texas Music Teachers Association, Cypress Creek Music Teachers Association, Houston Audubon Society, Milwaukee Accordion Club, Fort Bend Accordion Club.
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