2019 Independent Music Teacher of the Year Award

Categories: News & Updates

The WSO and its Academy of Music announce their second annual Independent Music Teacher of the Year Award to Jacqueline Herbein. The award was created to recognize an outstanding music teacher in Westmoreland County who provides private music lessons. Sponsored by Covington Financial


The award will be presented prior to the WSO’s Carmina Burana concert on April 27, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at the Palace Theatre. 


Jacqueline Herbein is an active teacher, pianist and arts advocate in Western Pennsylvania. Her students of all ages and advancement consistently perform audition and compete in local and state events. In addition to her respected private studio teaching, she is also widely known for her creative approach in unraveling musicians’ pain and injury issues by working with biofeedback, imagery and alternative therapies in order to awaken connections within the body. Her articles have appeared in a number of professional journals in the U.S. and Canada and she regularly presents workshops on technique, perception and wellness at state, national and international conferences. An energetic member of the Music Teachers National Association, Jackie holds numerous leadership positions at local, state and national levels and has previously been honored with state service and teaching awards. 


Interview with Jacqueline:

WSO:  How did you get started in music?
JH: “As a young child, wherever my family visited a home with a piano I always gravitated to it. I loved playing different combinations of notes and listening to the sounds. My family relocated when I was 9 years old and by chance, the house my parents bought had an old spinet piano that the previous owners no longer wanted.  I began piano lessons right away and spent that summer not only learning piano but blowing on different bottles, wanting also to begin flute lessons when I went to school that fall. I was blessed to have great foundational music teachers and parents who sacrificed to pay for lessons.  I played both instruments through high school and college, giving me a wealth of musical experiences.” 


WSO:  When did you start teaching?
JH: “I had several piano students during my last two years of high school. Looking back, I think I should have refunded the minimal amount I charged because I now realize that, although at the time I could play at a high level, I really knew very little about actual teaching!  As a piano major in college, I had a full year of pedagogy with a professor overseeing the teaching of several private students who were assigned to me. In addition, while an undergraduate, I taught piano at a local music store. I have only ever taught piano privately but during the last 15 years I have branched out, presenting workshops on technique, injury prevention, performance anxiety, and movement analysis both nationally and internationally.” 

WSO: What do you enjoy the most about teaching? 

JH: “I derive the greatest satisfaction watching many of my students grow and develop into lifelong independent music learners.  While on that path, I particularly enjoy helping students accomplish pieces they never thought possible. And, without a doubt, it is a delight to maintain contact with students after they graduate and know that the life-skills of commitment, responsibility, dedication, patience, determination, confidence, discipline, and focus developed through their years of lessons have contributed to their chosen field successes.”


WSO: What does receiving this award mean to you?

JH: “I have always been a performing pianist who teaches. As my own playing influences my teaching, my teaching also influences my own playing – it is a journey that is made together with my students. To have the importance of that musical journey recognized for the impact it has both on the individual student and on the cultural life of the community is the greatest honor in receiving this award.”       

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