Lyric DuoGail Berenson

Gail Berenson is Professor Emerita of Piano at Ohio University, Athens, where she was awarded the “Distinguished Teacher of the Year” Award in 2000 and the “Distinguished Service” Award in 2016. Prior to coming to Ohio, she was on the faculty of the University of Illinois, Urbana. An active performer and passionate chamber music collaborator, she performs with flutist, Alison Brown Sincoff, as a member of the Ohio University Lyric Duo.

As a result of her distinguished work as a piano pedagogue, along with her reputation as an expert on musician wellness issues, she is much in demand as a performer, clinician, master class artist, adjudicator, author, reviewer and pedagogy consultant. She has performed and lectured in over thirty-three states and eleven countries. She has been a presenter at the European Piano Teachers Conferences in Manchester, England; Funchal, Madeira; and Amsterdam, Netherlands, served as a guest clinician at the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association’s National Conferences in Halifax and in Vancouver, Canada, and presented sessions at four World Conferences of the International Society of Music Education in Beijing, China, Thessaloniki, Greece, Porto Alegre, Brazil and Glasgow, Scotland.  She has also served as a piano instructor in Yamaha’s Passport to Music program, in cooperation with Crystal Cruise Lines.

Ms. Berenson began to build a reputation as a performing artist early when at age eleven she began accompanying the forty-member male chorus conducted by her piano teacher, appearing in concert throughout Wisconsin and Illinois. A native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, she continued her education at Northwestern University, completing degrees in piano performance, studying piano with Louis Crowder and Guy Duckworth. She also performed in master classes with world-renowned accompanist Gerald Moore, baritone Pierre Bernac, duo-pianists Vronsky and Babin and, at the Lucerne International Music Festival, with pianist and accomplished chamber musician, Mieczyslaw Horszowski.

Lyric DuoOhio University Lyric Duo

Ms. Berenson is one of the co-authors of A Symposium for Pianists and Teachers: Strategies to Develop Mind and Body for Optimal Performance and, as a member of the Lorenz Advisory Board she contributed to the innovative piano method, Piano Discoveries, and is co-author of “Ask the Professor“. She has also authored three chapters for the fourth edition of the Lyke, Haydon, Rollin book, Creative Piano Teaching, published in spring 2011.  Ms. Berenson has also written articles for Keyboard Companion, the on-line journal, Piano Pedagogy Forum and served as a contributing editor to Piano & Keyboard.

She is a Past President of Music Teachers National Association, an association of over 23,000 members, and in 2015 was awarded MTNA’s prestigious “Distinguished Service Award”. She has also held the position of President-Elect, President, Vice President, Chair of the 2002 and 2003 MTNA National Conference Committees, has served on the 1996 and 1997 Conference Committees and was one of the founding members of the MTNA Pedagogy Committee.  A powerful advocate for musicians’ health, she has served as the founding chair of numerous wellness committees, helping associations begin their foray into this topic.  She represents the United States and the piano area as a member of the International Society of Music Education’s Forum on Instrumental and Vocal Teaching and founded and chairs the Musicians’ Health and Wellness Special Interest Group.  She initiated the College Music Society’s Committee on Musicians’ Health, established in 2015.  She has held several national posts with the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy and the World Piano Pedagogy Conference and has chaired the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy’s Committee for Pianists’ Wellness.  A Past President of the Ohio Music Teachers Association, she holds MTNA’s Master Certificate in piano and piano pedagogy and was the recipient of the 1999 OMTA “Certified Teacher of the Year” award and the 2004 OMTA “Collegiate Teacher of the Year” award. In recognition of her significant contributions to the music world and the music teaching profession, she was awarded an MTNA “Foundation Fellow Award” in 2007.  Now a new resident of Sarasota, Florida, she serves on the Sarasota Concert Association Board and the Sarasota Music Archive Board and is Co-Chair of the SCA’s Music Matinee Concert Series.  Her students are performing and teaching in independent studios and on college faculties throughout the world.


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