Meet the Instructor

My name is Melissa Surman, and I am the owner/ instructor of Gloria Music Studio, as well as the author of The Joyful Grammar of Music.  As a self-employed level III Kodaly- trained music instructor, I teach private and group piano lessons and classes.

I began my lifelong love of music at the age of five while strolling through a music store in the mall with my mother. My mom soon put me in piano lessons and I began teaching myself to play the piano from our church hymnal, and 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.  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. Music simply remained my way of serving my church; it did not become a vocation 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, so I began teaching my first piano student at age 19.

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 voluntarilyin 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.

In 2019, I self-published The Joyful Grammar of Music, a grammar stage music curriculum for home and private school use.  From 2018-2021, I completed my Kodaly certification from the Chenaniah Summer Music Institute in Moscow, Idaho, which is held at New St. Andrews College.  During the process of writing the curriculum I was able to start teaching group classes, starting with general music courses for homeschoolers, and evolving that into group piano and singing. >>>Read More

The joyful Grammar of Music Curriculum:
An Engaging Classical Introduction to Music

The joyful Grammar of Music Curriculum:
An Engaging Classical Introduction to Music

Teacher Guide

The Joyful Grammar of Music is a unique program designed to be used to teach music concepts to children from 1st through 3rd grades. American folksongs and games are used to help children internalize and discover concepts before they are presented to them. The lessons provide visual, aural, and kinesthetic activities to prepare students for each concept, and the concepts are then practiced through a variety of musical activities. A QR code is provided to give teachers access to recordings of all the folk songs used in the book.

A unique music catechism and music recitation program have also been developed and are scheduled throughout the curriculum. Optional projects, instrumental activities, composer stories, and classical music listening activities are also scheduled in the program. One teacher could use this book to teach several children of varying ages (approximately 6-10 years old).

The Student Workbook

The Joyful Grammar of Music Student Workbook is a necessary component to the program and provides extra practice activities to accompany the lessons in the Teacher Guide.  The music catechism and recitation questions are also included in the student workbook.  The workbook includes 24 front and back worksheets to accompany the 24 weeks of lessons in the teacher guide, as well as assessments every 6 weeks.

Virtues of the Great Composers Storybook

The Virtues of the Great Composers for Children is a collection of 31 short stories about composers from ancient times through the 20th century.  Each composer has a character trait that is highlighted in their story, as well as lists of suggested listening examples easily accessed online. The stories are scheduled in The Joyful Grammar of Music Teacher Guide as optional activities.Examples of the 31 unique character traits highlighted in the book are diligence, loyalty, perseverance, and leadership.The book makes an excellent read aloud for younger children or can be read independently approximately ages 8 and up.