Benjamin Downs

Benjamin D.

Saint Paul, MN

Lesson Details



Benjamin delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 3+ and special needs

Teaching since:
September 1999

I have bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in Piano Performance, over 15 years of teaching experience with students of all ages, and have performed throughout North American and Europe. When I taught in New York, some of my students went on to study at Juilliard and the Manhattan School for Music; but I'm equally comfortable teaching beginning students who only want to learn to play their favorite song.

I try to create a nurturing environment where students will be comfortable to be challenged. By encouraging their strengths while shoring up their weaknesses, I hope to help my students develop into well-rounded musicians who are not only technically proficient at the keyboard, but musically intelligent and sensitive.

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Piano Instructor
Aug 2010 - Jul 2014
Port Jefferson Music Academy

I taught ambitious young musicians at this community music school. Topics included piano, music theory, and chamber music. One of my students here went on to study at Juilliard in New York City.

Music Instructor
Aug 2010 - Jun 2014
Stony Brook University

I taught university undergraduates a variety of subjects including music history, music theory, and philosophy.

Piano Instructor
Aug 2007 - Aug 2010
Musical Arts Center

I instructed students ages 3 through adult in piano and music theory.


Doctor of Musical Arts
Aug 2007 - Aug 2010
University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music
Master of Music in Piano Performance
Aug 2004 - May 2006
University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Professional Proficiency


Suzuki, Book 1
Jul 2016
Suzuki Association of America

I completed my Suzuki Certification Every Child Can in May 2016 and the Book 1 certification in July 2016.


Fulbright Fellowship
Jul 2014
Fulbright US/German Commission
Jul 2008
Chauatuaqua International Piano Competition
Winner of "Rebeccah Penney's Lyricism" Award
Jul 2008
Chautauqua International Piano Competition


Society for Music Theory
Sep 2010

The Society for Music Theory promotes the development of and engagement with music theory as a scholarly and pedagogical discipline. We construe this discipline broadly as embracing all approaches, from conceptual to practical, and all perspectives, including those of the scholar, listener, composer, performer, teacher, and student. The Society is committed to fostering diversity, exclusivity, and gender equity in the field.

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American Musicological Society
Jun 2007

The American Musicological Society is a membership-based musicological organization founded in 1934 to advance scholarly research in the various fields of music as a branch of learning and scholarship; it grew out of a small contingent of the Music Teachers National Association and, more directly, the New York Musicological Society (1930-1934).

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Music Teachers National Association
Jun 2007

The MTNA was founded in 1876 with the goal of advancing the value of music study and music-making to society while supporting the careers and professionalism of teachers of music. With nearly 22,000 members in 50 states—and more than 500 local affiliates—the MTNA is the preeminent source for music teacher support, where members embody like-minded values and commitment to their students, colleagues and society as a whole, while reaping the rewards of collaboration, continuity and connection throughout the lifetime of their careers.

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Photos & Videos

Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach
Photo by Benjamin D.

An older performance with my wife, the cellist Rebeccah Parker Downs
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1 Review

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Claudia Oct 21, 2016
Piano · In studio

Ben taught our daughter in New York, and we were so pleased with the progress she made while studying with him. He is patient and consistently clear with his expectations and goal-oriented with his instruction. I cannot recommend him as a piano teacher enough!

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