Ms. Susan K. Vaughan, PhD

Piano, Flute Teacher, Parent, Administrator

Susan Vaughan

SAA Member


Denton TX

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The Denton Suzuki Academy provides high quality piano instruction utilizing Dr. Suzuki’s teaching approaches. Dr. Susan K. Vaughan mixes traditional teaching rigor with diverse piano technical studies of Terrence Rust. Lessons are individualized to meet the needs of every student-challenging and stimulating. She has a particular interest, commitment, and growing experience with students in the autism spectrum. She spoke to this topic at the 2016 International Suzuki Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In addition to Suzuki studies and participation in the North Texas Suzuki Association and the Plano Music Teachers Association (TMTA), Susan’s students perform in the Plano Music Teachers Association (TMTA) festival and regular studio performance events including parent and student group classes.

Susan judges annually for National Guild. Her primary music instrument is piano, but she also teaches flute and oboe.

Her piano studies began with Katherine Johnson and composer, Merritt Johnson, Northern State University, Aberdeen, South Dakota. Recently, she compiled all of Merritt’s music, which is available free of charge on-line worldwide through UNT in Denton, Texas and NSU in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Susan completed graduate piano study with Dr. Wilgus Eberly, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas; Mr. Terrence Rust, University of Minnesota, Duluth, Minnesota; Vladimir Levitski, Principal Pianist of the Minnesota Orchestra, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Evelyn Chen, Columbia University Teacher’s College faculty, Houston, Texas; and Gustavo Romero, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas.

Prior to her recent move to Denton, Texas, Dr. Vaughan taught Suzuki and traditional piano at the Galveston Island Arts Academy, Galveston, Texas, which she founded and served as executive director and manager of an annual concert series, an eleven-year collaborative project with the Mary Moody Northen Endowment.

Susan received a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and holds current certifications in music, art, and superintendent of schools in Texas. She earned her MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson Executive Management program in marketing and quality assurance. Additionally, she earned M.A. degrees from Texas Woman’s University in piano performance and music education and from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in art education.

Susan’s teaching career began in Minnesota, where she taught music and art for nine years at Hibbing and Century Community Colleges. She exhibited art, performed piano concerts, and conducted musicals, including “Fiddler on the Roof” and the first amateur production of “Man of La Mancha.” Susan also directed the college chamber band and served as music manager for Minnesota state fine arts festivals. Dr. Vaughan’s chamber band performed at the Anglo-International Music Festival in Guildford, England, as well as in Luxembourg and Paris winning a Merit rating.

For sixteen years, Susan served as the Minnesota state fine arts specialist designing state music and art tests and curricula for 435 school districts. She designed and implemented statewide art and music curricula for students with special needs and served on the MENC professional development task force sponsored by the Yamaha International Corporation. Dr. Vaughan served on the MENC Journal editorial review board prior to moving into the role of director of the Shakopee ISD special services and assessment programs.

Susan began Suzuki instruction in New Mexico prior to her move to Galveston, Texas and later Denton, Texas. While in Texas, she taught elementary and secondary choral and classroom music in Houston and Galveston. Her last public teaching position was at the IB Harvard Elementary Magnet School, where she founded and managed a district wide, audition-based elementary honor choir, which continues annually in Houston ISD.

She served as the Houston ISD district level Secondary Fine Arts Manager, responsible for creating district arts curricula while providing leadership to Houston’s secondary school music, art, dance, and theatre programs. While in HISD, Susan successfully secured a US Department of Education arts grant for Houston’s secondary fine arts programs.

Dr. Vaughan is actively engaged in the Denton community after her one year of residence. She is a member and has judged for the North Texas Suzuki Association. She is currently President of the North Texas Area P.E.O. Council and served as DAR Vice Regent. Susan is a member of the Ariel Music Club and recording secretary for the Denton Woman’s Club.