Donna has studied music most of her life, starting with piano and percussion in grade school, guitar in middle school and songwriting in high school. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy at the University of Kansas. While percussion was her focus throughout college, and continues to be a primary interest, she’s taught guitar, piano and songwriting in addition to percussion since 1972. Donna teaches beginning through intermediate guitar and piano and beginning through advanced songwriting at Meadowood.
Donna has experience with many aspects of music. She's been a music therapist in a school system and the director of churches’ contemporary music groups. She is a singer/songwriter. She's co-founder of a coffeehouse for acoustic music in western PA, and the producer on a recording by guitarist Tom Mowrey. With a grant from the PA Rural Arts Alliance, she developed and delivered an audience-participation concert about songwriting. She performs and records her own music - two recordings as part of the folk duo, Muse and one recording with keyboardist Jessica Madow in the duo, Miradow. And, Donna is a private music teacher with years of experience.
Donna believes that her primary job as a teacher is to share the love of music through a particular instrument. She takes pleasure in giving beginners and intermediate guitar students a foundation with which they can develop further. As a player, Donna gravitates toward contemporary folk and rock, but appreciates and teaches all styles of guitar. In songwriting, Donna especially enjoys helping novices get ready to perform and record. Donna uses method books and her own methods developed over many years to introduce musical concepts and theories necessary to perform music that the student enjoys. Teaching "practical theory,” she incorporates songs that the student wants to learn and presents playing within a context of everyday situations of performing: informal jam, an open mic, an audition, a coffeehouse gig, or a major concert. She has the goal to teach how to interpret each musical situation so that one can learn any piece of music and play with others.
We are very glad to have Donna as part of the excellent group of teachers at Meadowood.