Karen Pieper has been a jazz piano teacher at MacPhail for more than 26 years.
Karen has an eclectic group of students whose ages vary between 10 to retired. Some students have played classical/traditional piano and want to learn jazz piano and theory. Others may be beginners to the piano but want an approach that uses both playing by “ear” and reading, with an emphasis on pop, rock, or jazz. All the students are taught to play with a professional band for their recital, beginners included. She is friendly, outgoing, flexible, and enthusiastic; believing that it is appropriate to match teaching techniques to a student’s learning style and ability without compromising good musicianship.
She is currently a music director at All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove. Her theater credits include being the music director of Dudley Riggs’ Brave New Workshop, Illusion Theater, SteppingStone Theater, Theatre de la Jeune Lune and playing original improvised piano music for dozens of silent movies at the Oak Street Cinema and Walker Art Center. She and her husband, Tom Pieper, are the leaders and founders of the jazz quintet, SpiritJazzwhich has played for concerts and private venues.
Karen has a Bachelor of Science in music education and a Master of Arts in music education, both from the University of Minnesota.
“She is incredibly welcoming and adjusts the pace of our lessons based on our past experience.” –MacPhail Student