Nicole Harwell

Director and Instructor of Piano

My Background:  Piano was my first love! I started playing piano at age six; now I am privileged to say I have shared the joy of piano with others by teaching lessons for almost 20 years and voice for 5 years. I earned a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano from University of Northern Colorado and BA in Music from Belhaven University. I have been honored to serve as adjunct faculty at the University of Northern Colorado and Aims Community College as well as a guest artist giving a seminar and masterclass at the Conservatory of Music in Trujillo, Peru. I also love musical theater; throughout the years I have been either on stage singing, at the piano accompanying or at the podium as music director for multiple shows. I am especially proud of my work with the Stampede Troupe on “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” for which I won a BroadwayWorld “Best Musical Director” award for the Denver region in 2018.

 

What I love about teaching: I love the “aha” moment when something finally clicks for a student – when something they have been working on for weeks finally goes the way they want it to! I love seeing the confidence that students build when they achieve their goals. And I love getting to share the joy of music every day!

 

One way that I help my students succeed and flourish: My goal is to empower students to be self-sufficient in their music learning; so they can pick up any piece of music they want and learn it whether or not I am by their side. Over time, a student with me will have gained many “tools in their toolbox” to solve issues they are facing with a piece; upon analyzing the problem they can select the correct tool (a practice method, a fingering etc.) to overcome the problem. I also am continuously trying to direct students past the technical skills to the expression of the music; instead of just a bunch of notes the music becomes something the student can truly enjoy. And that’s the whole reason we play music!

 

Performance experience: The specialization in my Masters degree is in “Collaborative Piano” which basically means playing piano with other people. I have done lots of accompanying for vocalists and instrumentalists, plus playing in small chamber groups, which is my absolute favorite! In 2015 I founded Compass Duo with violinist Alex McKamie and we had great fun on a tour around Colorado, Wyoming and Mississippi performing classical violin/piano music.

 

 

Quick Facts

Hometown: Fraser, CO

My Musical Influences: Chopin, Brahms, Schubert are some of my favorites!

Favorite hobby or activity when not teaching or playing music: probably gardening!

Favorite food:molten chocolate cakes with homemade caramel sauce that my husband makes … ah-maz-ing!!!


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