Forte Teacher Spotlight: Anna Fagan

Oct 17, 2022

Ashley Pitman

Name: Anna Fagan
Instrument(s): Piano
Location: Various spots in the United States

Background:

Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Central Florida.
Church organist/pianist for over 30 years at the Church of the Lakes in Orlando, Florida
Owner of Fagan Piano Studio, Inc. since 2005
Immediate Past President of the Florida State Music Teachers Association (an MTNA affiliate)

Greatest inspiration:

My fellow piano teachers – past, & present.

Favorite place to perform:

My church, during Cantatas at Christmas & Easter. I love playing with a small orchestra, and accompanying our church choir.


Teaching Tech Setup:


What’s great about teaching on Forte?

The sound is far superior to Zoom, and it’s really easy to connect to students. I also believe that using a platform that was created exclusively for music lessons gives me a more professional edge, in that it demonstrates my commitment to creating a quality experience in online lessons.

Tell us a bit about your teaching style:

I like to describe myself as very organized and detail-oriented with lesson planning, while still being very relaxed and easy-going with students in lessons. I love finding analogies to help explain complex musical ideas, and try to inject something that’s somewhat humorous as much as I can. I find that students tend to remember things better that way!

I am equally infatuated with classical music, pop, rock, jazz, new age, sacred, etc. I love to teach chords, and have worked with a number of students who play for their school’s jazz band.

Musical expression is key to my goal with all students. I want them to be able to share an emotion through their music, and take the audience along as they spin out whatever story they might imagine with each piece.

Tell us what you like most about your experience as a music educator:

I love the variety! When I was teaching in person, I really loved working with the little 4 and 5-year-olds, using stuffed animals and off-bench activities to fuel their imaginations and develop early keyboard skills. Teens who are developing their personal musical tastes are so interesting to me – it’s great to be able to show them how to pour their evolving personalities into their music. And adults – I love working with them! Especially those who have always wanted to play. I had the opportunity to work in a large retirement community for several years, and had students in their 90s!

A piece of repertoire I love to teach:

Teaching ‘contrasting’ repertoire is one of my favorite things to explore with students. For instance, I have one high-school student who is studying Chopin’s Nocturne in C# Minor as well as Andrea Dow’s Nocturne Session. An 11-year-old student is studying some Baroque & Classical Repertoire from the Royal Conservatory’s Celebration Series, while also accompanying himself singing a variety of songs by Billy Joel.

A piece of repertoire I’m playing right now/I love to play:

I love finding new, contemporary arrangements of hymns. Some of my favorite arrangers are Heather Sorenson, Joel Raney, Bill Wolaver, and Mark Hayes. I’m always reviewing my favorite pieces by Bach, Brahms, & Debussy.

Fun fact:

My husband and I gave away / sold most of our possessions in 2021, and moved into a motorhome. I have my studio set up in what used to be the bunk-bed area, and still carry a full teaching schedule while we explore the U.S. We move to a new location about every three weeks, and I love seeing new things and meeting new people.

In the artist’s own words:

“Strive to be kind and encouraging to everyone you meet. We all carry burdens that are not always easily recognized by others – sharing music can soothe the soul of others, as well as yourself!”