Susan Merdinger
Highland Park, IL
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Susan Merdinger

Susan M.

Highland Park, IL
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
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:
Intermediate, Advanced
Expert Piano Instruction by Ivy-League and Conservatory Trained Steinway Artist, for serious students ages 10-18 years old and adults.

About Susan M.

Study Classical Piano with an International Steinway Artist!
Learn to play the piano, duo piano and chamber music or be accompanied and coached for your recital or audition with Susan M. I offer premium quality musical instruction and stress the importance of a sound foundation which includes theory, analysis, and technique. Music History and Appreciation is incorporated into lessons as desired. Life coaching included!

*** Lesson Details ***
Piano, Chamber Music Coaching for Piano, Strings and Woodwinds, Audition and Competition Prep, and Accompanying from Prize-winning American Pianist and Steinway Artist.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Highland Park: Three gorgeous pianos: Steinway M, plus Steinway B and Baldwin SF-10 Concert Grands.
Chicago: Steinway A3, Steinway M, Schimmel Baby Grand.

Large Music Library.

*** Specialties ***
Chamber Music
Duo Piano Repertoire
Audition preparation


Write a Review
9 Reviews
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Susan is not only an accomplished musician, but she is also an amazing teacher and mentor. She elevated my daughter’s musicianship and helped her find her true potential as a classical pianist. My daughter’s success as a competitive pianist is due to Susan’s instruction, encouragement, and guidance. When we started lessons with Susan, we struck gold!

Posted Jan 30, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Susan is an experienced concert pianist with world-class expertise in the instrument, yet she is also an approachable educator + coach who has done a great deal to advance my technique and interpretation. I’m glad to have found her. Advanced pianists will be pleased to find someone who can help raise their game even further, but regardless of your skill level, I don’t think you’ll regret signing up with her.

Posted Jan 30, 2021
Patricia C.
Profile-location-online Online

Susan was a PERFECT match for me. I really hate leaving her great knowledge. She has poured out to me her expert knowledge. Unfortunately, I am unable to continue. Susan is a teaching jewel to be cherished.

Posted Jun 14, 2020
Patricia C.
Profile-location-online Online

Susan is a great match for my level of piano knowledge. She is excited as I am to perfect my desire to execute my ability to play my cherished pieces, to perfection.

Posted May 14, 2020
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Amazing instructor and person to know! Susan is deeply involved in the classical music community and clearly one of the best in Chicagoland. Recommend for any student who wants to go to the next level of playing.

Posted Mar 14, 2020
Aparna H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Susan's instruction and mentorship has been transformational for my daughter's evolution as a classical pianist. The depth of articulation in her performance and the musicality in her playing she owes to Susan. Susan not only teaches with real dedication, but she also inspires her students to reach and keep attaining new heights in their piano performance. She demands commitment from her students, but is always encouraging and ensures her students gain confidence and a strong foundation in music education. Susan has extensive experience in teaching and her students do very well in piano competitions.

Posted Dec 27, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Susan is an outstanding pianist and teacher. She genuinely cares about the musical development of each of her students. I would highly recommend her to any serious student looking to work with a top rate teacher. It makes a difference!

Posted Apr 5, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I am a 50-something-year-old business executive who began taking beginner piano lessons with Susan Merdinger almost 5 years ago.

Now, I am performing Chopin Nocturnes and Preludes and cherished works by Mozart and Beethoven to name just a few.

My Mom let me quit piano lessons in 1967 when I was growing up on the Southside of Chicago. I spent the next 45 years regretting it.

Now, as my piano teacher, Susan is inspiring me to make up for lost time.

At the end of each year, I am amazed at being able to play pieces I couldn’t have imagined performing 12 months earlier. This satisfying achievement comes only because of Susan’s character and competence as a teacher and her passion and enthusiasm to motivate me to practice 1 to 2 hours every day.

Susan is patient while maintaining very high standards with a commitment to excellence. She celebrates the progress of all her students to whom she is dedicated. While waiting for my lesson to begin, I have watched in amazement as she interacts with a full studio of very diverse students, young and old, boys and girls, beginners and advanced, even handicapped blind and autistic students. I’ve watched as she’s brought smiles to all her students after their recitals and audiences after her own concerts.

And Susan is one of the smartest persons I know who is expanding my horizons of the classical repertoire I play and appreciation of the classical music I listen to. There is a special pride to see your piano teacher perform solo or with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at historic venues in Chicago or New York City.

I am a busy executive, but my piano lesson is the highlight of the week, even if that entails a 90-minute battle in Chicagoland rush hour traffic to get to my lesson.

That’s because my life is richer with the music Susan imparts.

I can’t recommend her strongly enough.

Posted Dec 23, 2015
Annika H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

The first lesson with Susan was fantastic. My daughter is looking forward to working with her.

Posted Dec 2, 2015

Photos & Videos

10 Photos & Videos


Pianist and Artist in Residence
Dec 2017 - Present

Christ United Methodist Church

Accompany the church choir for rehearsals and services and provide all music for liturgy and hymns during services.

Visiting Artist
Mar 2012 - Present

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Series

Piano Faculty
Aug 2011 - Present

Summit Music Festival

Piano Faculty since 2011 at Summit Music Festival

Founding Member
Dec 2010 - Present

Pianissimo!- Chicago's Premier Virtuoso Piano Ensemble

Four Piano Ensemble comprised of Susan M, Irina Feoktistova, Svetlana Belsky, Elena Doubovistskaya.

President and Artistic Director
Aug 2008 - Present

Private Music Studio

Private Music Studio, Record Label, Concert Series

Artistic Director
Jan 2003 - Present

Sheridan Music Studio

Private Music Studio, Arts Management, Recording Studio, Record Label

Artistic Director and Founder
Jan 1989 - Present

The Five Greenes

America's Music Family

Music Director
Jan 2001 - Jun 2003

Ridgewood Unitarian Society

Choral and Instrumental Music Director for Large Unitarian Universalists Congregation in Ridgewood, New Jersey.


DMA- Piano Performance
Sep 1986 - May 1988

Manhattan School of Music

Master of Music
Sep 1983 - May 1985

Yale School of Music

Bachelor of Arts
Sep 1980 - May 1983

Yale University

Artists Diploma
Sep 1968 - May 1980

Westchester Conservatory of Music



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Professional Proficiency


International Steinway Artist
Dec 2012

Steinway and Sons Piano

Bachelor of Arts
May 1983

Yale University

Major in Music and Pre-Med.


Gold Medal for Best Album and Instrumentalist
Dec 2019

Global Music Awards (GMA)

Best Classical Album
Oct 2019

Clouzine International Music Award

2nd Prize for Chamber Music- Sheridan Solisti
Jun 2019

The American Prize

First Prize- Piano Duo
May 2017

Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition

2016 Global Music Awards for Pianissimo! The Chicago Debut Concert CD
Mar 2016

Global Music Awards

2015 Global Music Awards for Four Centuries CD
Sep 2015

Global Music Awards

2014 Global Music Award- Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals
Aug 2014

Global Music Awards

First Prize
May 2013

International Music Competition of France

First Prize
Apr 2012

Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition

Dewar's Young Artists Award
Oct 1990


Artists International Young Musicians Award
Apr 1986

Artists International


National Academy for the Recording Arts and Sciences, The
Mar 2012
The Recording Academy, known variously as The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences or NARAS, is a U.S. organization of musicians, producers, recording engineers and other recording professionals dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for music and its makers. The Recording Academy is headquartered in Santa Monica.
Music Teachers National Association
Jun 2008
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.
College Music Society, The
Jan 2008
The College Music Society promotes music teaching and learning, musical creativity and expression, research and dialogue, and diversity and interdisciplinary interaction. A consortium of college, conservatory, university, and independent musicians and scholars interested in all disciplines of music, the Society provides leadership and serves as an agent of change by addressing concerns facing music in higher education.

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