Patricia A. Heineman-Vernon
Piano, Suzuki Early Childhood Education Teacher
Patricia Heineman-Vernon began teaching piano in Skokie in the 1970s. In 1980, she began her training in the Suzuki method and has maintained a Suzuki piano studio in Skokie ever since. Her extensive and ongoing Suzuki training has been with many pioneers of the Suzuki piano method in the United States including Dr. Haruko Kataoka, Dr. Yasuko Joichi, Doris Koppelman, Constance Starr and Marilyn Andersen. She formerly was on the Suzuki faculty of the Wheaton College Suzuki Program, the Suzuki Music Academy of Chicago, the Jack Benny Center for the Performing Arts (Waukegan, Il) and Mundelein College (Chicago, Il). Her interest in early childhood music led her to become a licensed Kindermusik teacher in 1993 and she is currently recognized as a Kindermusik Maestro for reaching large numbers of families who are enrolled in Kindermusik. In 1993, she founded the Center for Musical Development in Skokie which offered Kindermusik for students, ages 0— 7, Suzuki piano lessons for students beginning at age 4 and the Skokie Children’s Choir for beginning at age 7. In 2008, she accepted the position as Coordinator of Kindermusik at Northwestern University and began to also teach Kindermusik and prepiano lessons in the Music Academy (Community Music School of Northwestern University). Currently, she maintains a private Suzuki piano studio in Skokie and also teaches and coordinates Kindermusik at Northwestern along with accompanying young cellists.
Patricia received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Mundelein College, Chicago, Illinois studying piano with Dr. Louise Skodzinski. She is an active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Music Teachers National Association, Chicago Area Music Teachers Association and North Shore Music Teachers Association. She has served as an adjudicator for the National Piano Guild, local contests and Illinois Achievement in Music Exams.
Her love and passion for the Suzuki method and early childhood music has been greatly enhanced by being a Suzuki cello parent to her two now grown children. She brings an understanding of the Suzuki method to the parents of her studio as a parent herself who has been through the daily commitment of practicing, listening and working with her own children to make beautiful music.
She combines her knowledge of music and movement gained from her experience as a Kindermusik teacher with her vast experience of teaching young beginners piano to create an enjoyable learning environment for young children and their families.
Students participate in many motivational activities including fall and spring recitals, National Piano Guild Auditions, Achievement in Music Exams, Sonata/Sonatina Festivals and benefit recitals. In her studio there is a plaque honoring students who have studied with her for 10 years—”the 10 Year Club” and another plaque for those who have studied with her through high school graduation. Many of her former students have gone on to study music in college.
Every summer, she teaches on the faculty of the Blue Lake Suzuki Family Camp and especially enjoys it when families from her own studio attend and can interact with other Suzuki students from around the country.
She welcomes parents and children to visit her studio and experience her joy and passion for piano and music.