Teacher Profile

First Name
Last Name
Ann Arbor

Lesson Info

Travel to Homes?
Online Lessons?
K-8, High School, College, Adults
Levels Taught
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced
Musical Styles
Recitals, SAT, NFMC Festival, Competitions
Teaching Approach
My teaching is focused on facilitating student-discovery and exploration, while helping students develop skills that will benefit them for a lifetime. Teaching through a holistic lens, I incorporate repertoire, sight-reading, technique, theory, ear training, improvisation, and movement. As my students grow in their performance, they also learn valuable tools for problem-solving and creative thinking. Through this process, they become independent learners, develop confidence in their abilities, and find joy in music-making.

Background Info

DMA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, University of Wisconsin-Madison MM in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, University of Wisconsin-Madison BM in Piano Performance, University of North Carolina - Greensboro
Paola Savvidou, DMA, NCTM, is a pianist, pedagogue, and wellness advocate. On a daily basis she wears many hats serving as Wellness Initiative Program Manager and Lecturer in Music at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance while also running her own piano studio called Music Lotus in Ann Arbor, MI. She also serves as Assistant Teaching Professor at East Carolina University where she teaches courses in piano pedagogy. Previously, she served as Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy at the University of Missouri where she taught applied piano, undergraduate and graduate courses in piano pedagogy and wellness, and coordinated the Group Piano Program. In her current role as Program Manager for the Wellness Initiative she develops partnerships within the University of Michigan health services and beyond to provide education, injury-preventive services and recovery support for students, faculty and staff. As a proponent of healthy-living for musicians, she utilizes mindfulness, yoga, and creative movement within her teaching to improve alignment while deepening expressivity in performance. She frequently presents related research work at prominent conferences including the MTNA National Conference, the International Society for Music Education Conference, the European Association for Schools of Music Conference, College Music Society’s International Conference, and the European Piano Teachers Association. Her work has won Article of the Year through MTNA two years in a row; in 2015 for her article "In Search of the 'Perfect' Musical Performance" published in the American Music Teacher and in 2016 for her interdisciplinary research article "Assessing Injury Risk in Pianists: Using Objective Measures to Promote Self-Awareness" published in the MTNA e-Journal. She has also published in the Piano Pedagogy Forum, MMTA NOTES and Clavier Companion. She co-authored At the Piano with Yoga with Haley Myers; a collection of duets for beginning piano students coupled with yoga poses. Dr. Savvidou’s book entitled Teaching the Whole Musician: A Guide to Supporting Music Students' Wellness 1was published by Oxford University Press in 2021. In Spring 2015 she received the prestigious Purple Chalk Teaching Award by the College of Arts & Science Student Council at the University of Missouri. A devoted advocate of contemporary music, Paola is a member of the New Muse Piano Duo with Jonathan Kuuskoski; an ensemble dedicated to commissioning and performing works by living composers. Their concert tours have included performances across the United States, Norway, Greece, and Cyprus. NMPD’s first CD, transhuman, was released in 2017 by the Blue Griffin label. Dr. Savvidou frequently adjudicates piano events such as the Michigan Music Teachers Association Student Achievement Testing, National Guild of Piano Teachers, and Federation of Music Clubs. She serves as chair-designate and member of the editorial board for the MTNA e-Journal and as a member of the Wellness Committee for the National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy.