Maria Pearse
Knoxville, TN
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This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. This badge demonstrates subject mastery on a nationwide scale.
Maria Pearse

Maria P.

Knoxville, TN
Profile-student-favorite Student Favorite
This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. This badge demonstrates subject mastery on a nationwide scale.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Get ready for a truly rich and rewarding experience. Maria studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Viktor Merzhanov. She is a 4th-generation pupil of Franz Liszt and 6th-generation of Beethoven. She was one of the fortunate few (Garrick Ohlsson among them) to study with Roberto Eyzaguirre, who was a student and friend of Claudio Arrau, one of the 20th-century's greatest pianists. Arrau studied with Martin Krause, who was one of Franz Liszt's final pupils. Liszt was taught by Carl Czerny. And Beethoven was Czerny's teacher. Through this great lineage, learn an incredible technique that will enable you to play the music of your dreams!

About Maria P.

Maria was born in Moscow, Russia. Her mother was a piano teacher and started Maria playing at 4. She studied at the legendary Moscow Conservatory with Victor Merzhanov. In the US, she won the Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Young Artist Competition and debuted with the Symphony performing Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto. She earned her Bachelor's of Music at the University of Houston.

For her Master's, she studied organ at Rice University with the world-famous teacher Clyde Holloway. She won many national competitions, including Gruenstein Memorial Organ Competition in Chicago and San Antonio Pipe Organ Competition.

The Russian School of Playing has produced some of the world's greatest pianists. This method is fun and lays down the foundation for a relaxed way of playing, which gives confidence and technical security, while enabling one to produce beautiful "singing" tone on the piano. This helps students of all ages to take their piano-playing to new heights.


Write a Review
27 Reviews
Gini D.
Profile-location-online Online

I have been studying with Maria for two months and she is the best piano teacher I have ever had. I played piano very seriously as a child, with excellent instruction using the technique of Josef and Rosina Lhevinne. As an adult, I did not play for several decades, so I am returning to piano as an older adult student. In the two months we have worked together, I have made tremendous progress.

The technique Maria teaches emphasizes using the weight of the body to produce sound while keeping the hands and arms relaxed and fluid, which not only produces a most beautiful and expressive tone, but protects the body from injury. Although similar to the Lhevinne technique, Maria’s technique takes it to higher level. Many piano teachers do not teach a technique but, in my opinion, solid technique is critical for an advanced student and best learned from the beginning.

Maria is patient and detail oriented and teaches all aspects piano with mastery. I highly recommend her.

Posted Sep 28, 2020
Zachary E.
Profile-location-online Online

Maria is an excellent teacher for adults. I feel like there is the proper emphasis on building fundamentals while also focusing on what I enjoy about the piano (film scores). Maria is a kind and patient teacher who is challenging and still comforting for my beginner level. I would highly recommend her for any adult looking for lessons.

Posted Sep 20, 2020
Zachary E.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Aug 16, 2020
Ricardo M.
Profile-location-online Online

"I am very fortunate to have found Maria. I went through 3 other instructors, all claiming to have their own patented method of teaching piano, but all of them left me frustrated and without clear direction. Maria understands the necessary path. She enlightens and inspires me every week with the timeless beauty of piano. With her by my side, I believe I can realize my dream."

Posted Aug 12, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Maria is a wonderful teacher! She is kind, attentive, and extremely knowledgeable. I've made great progress already under her tutelage, and feel grateful that she is my teacher. I would recommend her for anyone trying to learn piano, even if you're starting from scratch like I did!

Posted Aug 9, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

High quality teacher. She is really qualified to teach advanced students.

Posted Jul 17, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Amazing! She’s delightful, intelligent, a kind soul. Very, very talented. Her music is so full of emotion, I aspire to play like her one day, and because of her one day I will! I couldn’t ask for a better teacher. I’ve learned so much. When I struggle she is so patient with me. She always makes sure I understand what I’m learning and answers any questions I have. She has changed the way I play music forever, for the better! I thank God for her!

Posted Jul 16, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jul 5, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Maria is not your average piano teacher. She does not merely teach you to play the piano--she teaches you to feel the music, to really experience it and, most importantly, to enjoy it. As an advanced adult student, I went through a few different teachers before finally finding Maria. I am so glad I did! She is taking my playing to a whole new level and going over my technique with a fine-toothed comb. I cannot recommend her enough!!

Posted Apr 11, 2020
Lydia K.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Maria focuses on foundation, which is the most important strategy for improving in a long term. Maria puts effort to make piano as fun and beautiful instead of hard training. She is also very flexible in lesson times and tries to accommodate students' interest and need. I am glad I found her as my teacher!

Posted Dec 16, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I throughly enjoy the lesson time spent with Maria as a beginner. She is an accomplished musician and transmits her passion for the piano to me as her student. She is kind and patient and totally focused on my comfort level and ensuring that I understand her approach to learning to play. I would highly recommend her to anyone interested in starting with the basics and having the enthusiasm for learning that she has for teaching.

Posted Jul 1, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Maria has been a joy to work with. She is kind, compassionate and patient. She is an amazing teacher and my lessons have been transformative. Every time I leave a session with Maria I am excited, rejuvenated and my skills are most certainly elevated. She makes music fun. She is also thorough and comprehensive and teaches excellent fundamentals. I would strongly recommend her to anyone interested in learning piano.

Posted Apr 13, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

Having a wonderful time learning with Maria. I'm returning to the piano after a 20+ year hiatus, and after a couple months reacquainting my self with the piano I found Take Lessons. I chose Maria based on her experience and background. I'm excited to change not only my touch on the piano, but also in my approach to learning a new piece of music. Maria is very thorough in helping me dissect the music so I fully understand not just which keys to press, but how make music out of it. Thanks Maria!!

Posted Apr 11, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great experience with talented and passionate professional. I am older student and Maria patiently works with my schedule and level of ability. Recommended highly.

Posted Mar 27, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I am honored to finally write a review for Maria!

Having already been a musician for a decade on various other instruments, I was looking for a teacher that could help me learn technique for piano. I found Maria on this website and have never had a better private teacher.

She quickly adapted to my experience level, gave constant feedback, called me on my mistakes (in the nicest way possible) and encouraged me to succeed.

I would absolutely recommend her to anyone looking to learn piano, regardless of your musical background. She is a wonderful, kind, incredibly knowledgeable teacher and is a very welcoming and encouraging person. I am so glad to have had her as my teacher.

Posted Jul 30, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Maria's a beautiful human being.

Posted May 9, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My son really enjoyed his first lesson!

Posted Apr 8, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Maria is a terrific instructor. As an older beginning student, I appreciate that she helps me meet goals that we set. I like that she tailors our lesson to meet those goals. She is extremely patient. I am having a great time!

Posted Jan 25, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My company does business in Russia so learning the language is important for me. I tried programs like Rosetta Stone but progress was slow and frustrating. Learning from a native speaker like Maria is the best way I have found. Being able to receive answers to questions quickly with explanations of the culture along with the language is invaluable. She works at my pace and tailors lessons to my needs. I am finally learning to speak, read and converse in Russian . This is the only real way to learn.

Posted Jan 12, 2018
Veteran W.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Great Teacher. Was kind and helpful to my Veteran. Very well done. He loved it.

Posted Nov 7, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My Granddaughter is five years old and loves to take lessons from "Ms. Maria." Maria makes lessons age appropriate and she makes them fun. My granddaughter looks forward to lessons each week and she is learning
so much and she talks about what she learns. I highly recommend Ms. Maria
to any person who is considering a piano teacher for a young child.

Posted Oct 24, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

It is so nice to have an instructor who not only cares about my child's musical interests, but also my child's welfare in general. Ms. Maria is compassionate about music, but also in her teaching style.

Posted Aug 11, 2017
Anna Drake
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Best, sweetest Russian teacher. I learned a lot about the language and the culture. Russian movies are lots of fun. Highly recommended. Большое спасибо!

Posted Apr 4, 2017

I get the honor to be the first to write something about Maria! I have known this Lady for several years. I am a musician. I play the guitar. I am not yet ready to learn the piano but when I am there is no one I'd rather take lessons from than this wonderful Woman! She is of the highest integrity. Genuinely sincere. With a loving heart! I can honestly say there are not enough stars to rate this human being.

Posted Apr 3, 2017
Lucy Russell

I learned both Russian and piano from this gifted teacher. Now I will trust her wth my ten year old. Can't wait to see what she does. Thanks.

Posted Apr 3, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

The Russian method helped to play again, after a long absence due to injury. It's wonderful to play Chopin and Rachmaninov in such a relaxed way. Thanks also for sharing your great knowledge and love of music with me. Every lesson was unique and fun and opened a new door. I look forward to many more lessons in the coming years!

Posted Apr 2, 2017
Celia P.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Thank you for not only being the best piano teacher I ever had but also helping me in so many other ways on the path of self-discovery. You changed my life. I will always be grateful for my three "Russian" years!

Posted Apr 1, 2017

Photos & Videos

7 Photos & Videos


Piano and Pipe Organ Teacher
Jun 1990 - Present


Pianist and Organist
Mar 1979 - Jan 1989

Congregation Beth Yeshurun

George Wagner, music director.

Piano and Pipe Organ Student Teacher
Aug 1983 - May 1986

Shepherd School of Music, Rice University


Master's Degree in Music Performance
Aug 1981 - May 1986

Shepherd School of Music, Rice University

Private Instruction
Jun 1976 - Sep 1980

Roberto Eyzaguirre

Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance, Magna cum Laude
Aug 1974 - May 1976

University of Houston

Sep 1969 - May 1973

Moscow Conservatory



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Frederick Royal Gibbons Memorial Award for Outstanding Organ Performance
May 1984

Rice University

Awarded by Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)
Frederick Royal Gibbons Memorial Award for Outstanding Organ Performance
May 1983

Rice University


FIRST PRIZE Gruenstein Memorial Pipe Organ Competition in Chicago
Oct 1984

Gruestein foundation

San Antonio Pipe Organ Competition
Feb 1984

University Presbyterian Church, William C. Hall Foundation

Ima Hogg Young Artist Competition
Jun 1976

Houston Symphony


Music Teachers National Association
Apr 2017
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.
American Guild of Organists
Sep 1981
The mission of the American Guild of Organists is to enrich lives through organ and choral music. To achieve this we: 1. Encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music 2.Inspire, educate, and offer certification for organists and choral conductors 3. Provide networking, fellowship, and mutual support 4.Nurture future generations of organists 5. Promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles; and 6. Engage wider audiences with organ and choral music.

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