Karen A Magruder, NCTM

Karen A M.

Phoenix, AZ

About Karen A M.

Background check: Last verified 09/21/2016
Karen A passed a background check on 09/21/2016 that included the following:
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Karen A teaches: Ages 5 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: June 1983
Last sign in: Today


Give the Gift of Music! "Music brings joy to the heart, peace to the soul & life to everything." "We teach children music, not so they can make beautiful music, but because music makes beautiful children." Two of my favorite quotes. I've taught for many years and I love what I do. Watching a student learn and grow is more rewarding than anything else.

Furthermore, Music is beneficial! No one thing is better than music for child's development and or for stimulating your own brain. Studies show that it can even help stave off dementia and other results of aging. Why? Music is the only activity that we do that uses All areas of the brain at once. Music increases IQ (in children), improves intuitive math and reading skills, raises test scores and the ability to focus and more. Furthermore, Students who study music are also more likely to graduate, go to College and to be accepted at demanding schools like law and medicine. Music is a great way to maintain your mental skills and flexibility, explore different times, cultures and styles.

- An experienced teacher (since 1983) with typically up to 55 private lessons weekly.
- An experienced and successful teacher in working with a wide range of disabilities.
- Professional Pianist (since 1981).
- Nationally Certified Piano Teacher with MTNA.
- Certified teacher in all levels of Kindermusik (14 years).
- Certified teacher of Orff-Schuelwerk (2004).
- Experienced teacher in working with a wide variety of disabilities.
- Teacher (was) for the pioneering studies on music and brain development at UC Irvine.
- Founder of the Empire Music Teachers Association.
- Was District IV Coordinator for the California MTA (5 years).

- Arrive and get your things out
- Warm-ups: trills, scales, 5 finger patterns, thirds, octaves, etc.
- Did you have trouble on your assignments this week? If so, we'll go directly to that.
- Demonstration of all pieces while working on any problems
- Assignment and demonstration, practice and special directions for each piece.
- Theory check and new assignment. Complete as needed.
- As time permits, review of flashcards, ear training and so forth.
- Music Lab (either before or after the lesson as fits in with the students around you) - 15-20 minutes of independent study: musical computer games to support what we are working on, read books about music, composers, music history and so forth, listen to music as supports what we are working on, complete any missed theory assignments, review of flashcards if needed.

I am Karen. I love Music! My family has always incorporated music into our lives. Some of my earliest memories are being danced around in my Mom’s arms and listening to her sing. I began formal lessons on the Piano when I was 7 years old. Growing up also I sang in the Church Choirs, played on Hand Bells, and explored the Flute. I spent a formal year each on Trumpet, Drums and Harpsichord and am currently working on learning Zither, Autoharp, Dulcimer, and Soprano & Alto Recorders, and sometimes the guitar (when I have a chance). Of course, I also regularly read and attend lectures, conferences, seminars and master classes to always improve my teaching skills. I have been teaching piano and music theory for over 31 years in this area and have played professionally. I am a member in good standing with the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and was with the California Association of Music Teachers (CAPMT), Empire Music Teachers Association (EMTA), the Music Educators National Conference (MENC), the Suzuki Association of North America, the National & the Inland Empire Kodaly-Orff Association, and the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy – I have not hooked up here yet. I am a fully certified and licensed teacher of Kindermusik and Musikgarten and have earned National Certification (NCTM) through the MTNA and have earned Level I & II (out of 3) in Orff-Scheulwerk. I was District IV Coordinator for CAPMT, and Vice President then President of the EMTA. I keep busy and love teaching!

I try hard to present students with a solid, broad based approach with an emphasis on understanding the fundamentals of musical comprehension, music reading, musical memory, and ear development. These are essential to playing and enjoyment of any instrument! To this end we cover theory, music history, performance, technique and practical application. These basics are supplemented and reinforced by the monthly group sessions, several annual field trips, access to regional, state and national music competitions and performances, as well as the formal Student Evaluations each Spring. I have a full music lab, an extensive library of music and music reference materials and up to date postings on local free or low cost musical events While I tend to emphasize classical music and technique, we will also cover a wide range of music in various meters and modalities: classical, popular and world music in solos and duets. Supplementary books are available: holiday, religious, popular, classical, music from specific times, places, composers, movies... or whatever the student wishes, when they are ready. My personal goal is not to have a studio full of competition performers. A few are always nice of course, but the average student just wants to be able to make music - to make it sing. I DO want them to understand, appreciate, and be able to pick up something and figure it out - or apply what they know to another instrument. Once music is part of a life, it never leaves; it is the one universal language.

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Karen A Magruder, NCTM
Beginnings in Music Studio

Photos and Videos

Welcome to Beginning Piano Studio



May 1983 - Apr 2014
Beginnings in Music: Piano & Kindermusik

- Played piano professionally for a number of years, but my love is teaching.
- Taught & ran my own studio in California for 31 years, very successfully.
- Taught many classes for local cities recreation departments for about 15 years.
- My students have always done quite well at exams, auditions & competitions.
- 2/3rd s of new students from referrals.
- Many students have stayed with me for over 10 years.
- Have worked successfully with many students with many different levels and types of disabilities.


May 1983 - Apr 2014
Beginnings in Music: Piano & Kindermusik

Teaching a solid, broad based foundation for music appreciation and understanding. Specific tasks included continuous self study and practice, lesson planning and design, acquisitions, advertising and general management and employee training.

Piano includes music theory, history, ear training and piano technique and practical application for ages 5-105. I like to see to it that the students truly understand what they doing. Available to those who are interested in bi-annual formal recitals, mini recitals, festivals, competitions, field trips annual state exams.

Kindermusik is good general music with lots of movement, singing and instrument playing for ages newborn to 7 years in age appropriate small groups and activities. Kindermusik focuses on the development of the whole child.


General Studies

Jun 1985 - Present

American Orff Scheulwek: Levels 1 & 2 out of 3

Jul 2011 - Jul 2011
Chapman University

BA in Business Management

Aug 1988 - May 1994
Cal State San Bernardino

AA Music

Sep 1985 - May 1988
Chaffey College

Languages Spoken

American Sign Language

Limited Proficiency


Limited Proficiency


Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NTCM)

Oct 2011
Music Teachers National Assos

Intensive testing to prove your music educational knowledge, general music & performance abilities are at essentially the equivalent of a degree in music education

Orff-Scheulwerk Levels I & II out of 3

Aug 2010
Chapman University

Teaching music to groups in a flexible and intuitive manner.
Essentially the Granddad of all current group music education methods.


May 1999

Group music classes for ages 0-7. I earned all levels and took all improvement classes for university level credit.


Maestro Teacher

Aug 2000


Arizona State Music Teachers Association

Jul 2015

Arizona State Music Teachers Association is a professional, non-profit educational organization designed to enhance the professionalism, personal growth and career development of its members. We have local associations throughout Arizona and are affiliated with Music Teachers National Association.

California Professional Music Teachers Association

Feb 1989

CAPMT is the California State Affiliate of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). CAPMT is a 501(c)(3) non-profit music teachers organization of over 1,000 members, teaching in independent studios, private and public schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities throughout California.

CAPMT offers a variety of state programs for the music student and education and professional opportunities for its members. California is divided into nine geographical districts, some of which are subdivided into chapters. The districts and chapters provide local opportunities for student performances, competitions, evaluations, and for teacher enrichment, education, and interaction.

Music Teachers National Association

Jan 1988

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.

Write a Review

5 Reviews on Karen A M.

Ellie S. Aug 27, 2016
Classical Piano · In home
Verified Student
So far Karen has been great.
Valeria G. Apr 9, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
I am so happy with Karen, I made the right decision to choose her. She is so patience and the way she teaches will get me to achieve my goals.
Linsay M. Jan 9, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Karen is excellent with our 5 year old daughter. Her experience and expertise was apparent on the very first lesson. Our daughter has been through three instructors prior to Karen and this is the first one she has connected with and looked forward to seeing each week. She truly knows how to connect with children and her enthusiasm is infectious! Definitely recommend to children and adults seeking lessons!
Thumb_82954_pi_Photo on 2013-07-28 at 09.40
Alexia B. Nov 6, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Learning how to read music, I am playing much better now. Karen is the best piano teacher ever
Omar G. Oct 19, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Very dedicated and patient teacher.