Stone Oak and North West
Student Levels: Beginning to Advanced
Student Ages: 5 and up, including adults
Ellen Pavliska began studying piano at the age of 11 and quickly made progress, making her orchestral debut with the San Antonio Symphony five years later at the age of 16. Ellen took lessons with MACSA founder Kenneth Thompson throughout high school and consistently placed in national and state piano competitions. Ellen has performed throughout the United States and Austria, and her performances and interviews have been featured on Texas Public Radio. In 2014, she performed with the Round Rock Symphony as part of the 5th Texas State International Piano Festival. An avid chamber musician, Ellen was recently invited to perform as a Festival Artist at the 2016 Cactus Pear Chamber Music Festival in San Antonio, Texas.
A full scholarship recipient, Ellen graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Texas with her Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance in 2015, studying with Pamela Mia Paul. Ellen recently completed her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Southern California, where she studied with Norman Krieger and Bernadene Blaha.
While earning her Master’s Degree, Ellen maintained a full studio at the Irvine School of Music, where she held positions as both a private and group piano instructor. Ellen was also an active member of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT). Working with other music teachers in CAPMT’s Young Professional Leadership Network, Ellen founded the first “Pedagogy and Play” performance series in her district. In 2016, Ellen also presented at the MTNA National Conference with members of the University of Southern California’s MTNA collegiate chapter. In her spare time, Ellen enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
“Music has played such an important role in my life and has positively shaped who I am today. I am eager to share the fulfillment that the piano inspires with my students, while also developing the discipline needed to truly enjoy playing the piano. I aim to nurture the unique artistic spirit of each student and challenge every student to reach their full potential.
Becoming a proficient pianist requires a combination of skills. The first set of skills involves a healthy approach to technique; these are skills that I stress from the very beginning of piano study. The next most important skill is the ability to listen. Through my teaching, I try to open my students’ ears to phrasing, shaping, timing, and tone color and guide them to make their own musical decisions in the repertoire they are studying. In addition, my piano lessons are structured to include theory, ear-training, memorization, sight reading skills, and relevant music history. Each of these skills contributes to forming a well-rounded musician. Lessons are primarily focused around classical repertoire, but I enjoy discovering other kinds of music that my students are interested in, and finding just the right pieces for every student to learn.
It takes a tremendous amount of discipline, focus, and dedication to learn to play an instrument. All of these qualities are highly valued and contribute to success. I teach my students productive and efficient practice habits and I stress quality over quantity when it comes to practicing and memorizing their repertoire. Music is a communicative art form and I encourage my students to perform as much as possible through recitals, examinations, festivals, and competitions. The self-confidence a student receives from developing their artistic expression and sharing this with others is something the student can apply to all areas of their life. Most importantly, students should have fun while learning! Through inquisitive study and focused practice, my students will develop a sense of motivation, accomplishment, and self-confidence—the benefits of which will more than outweigh their hard work at this instrument.”