My name is Melissa Surman, and I am excited to share with you a little about my background and vision for Gloria Music Studio.
I began my lifelong passion for music at the age of five while strolling through a music store in the mall with my mother. Soon after, my mom put me in lessons and I began teaching myself to play the piano from our church hymnal, also independently reading through classical works. By third grade, I was put into the position of church pianist, since my dad had recently become pastor of a small church, which at the time was without an instrumentalist. In high school, I pursued voice lessons, choral music, May Festival Youth Chorus, theater, and was the accompanist for myself and other voice students at recitals. However, music simply remained my way of serving my church; it did not become a rewarding hobby until I began college. At that time I switched my major from Physical Therapy to Music Education. One of the music professors asked me to teach his daughter to play the piano. Thus, I began teaching my first piano student in 1998.
During college I participated in the May Festival Chorus, performing at Cincinnati Music Hall with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In 2002, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the College of Mount Saint Joseph with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, emphasis in both voice and piano. In addition to teaching privately and being a mom, I work as the Music Director at Saint Vincent De Paul parish. I also serve voluntarily in all avenues of music and children's ministries at Delhi Hills Baptist Church; I have worked professionally as an accompanist for Mount Saint Joseph University's theater productions and choirs, in addition to accompanying for area high schools.
I thoroughly enjoy being surrounded by the beauty of music, and I consider it my main avenue of service to God. I feel privileged to be able to pass on to what others what I have learned. As a home-educating mother of five children, I strive to follow a Classical Christian philosophy of education, where all subject matters are integrated around the seven liberal arts. In addition to tutoring for the 4th-6th grade English and writing program at our Classical Conversations campus, I am also an active member of the National Association for Music Education. The desire to implement a classical approach to teaching and learning has affected my music education philosophy. It is important for my students to develop a discerning ear for true beauty. I emphasize ear training, note reading, chords, scales, and music “grammar”, while theory and history are infused into the lessons as time allows. Since I want my students to enjoy playing, I encourage the student to choose literature they want to learn to supplement their studies. I agree that, as J.S. Bach said, “the chief end of music is to glorify God.” This can be accomplished through many beautiful genres of music. When music is composed well, it is beautiful, and it brings us to the realization of God’s greatness.