2018 Teacher of the year: Frances Larimer

Special congratulations to Frances Larimer who has also been named the MTNA National Teacher of the Year! She will be honored at the National Conference in Spokane, Washington in March 2019.

Frances Larimer, NCTM, Piano Professor Emerita, created the master's and doctoral degree programs in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the Northwestern University School of Music and served as director of these programs for over 25 years.  Prior to this, she established the group piano programs for music and non-music majors. Since her retirement in August 1998, Larimer has served as consultant in piano pedagogy for Yamaha.

Larimer has been active in MTNA for many years.  From 1975 to 1979 she served as national group piano chair for MTNA.  She has served two, four-year terms on the editorial board of The American Music Teacher and for five years was a music reviewer for Clavier.  She has written numerous articles and music reviews for music periodicals.  Frequently she is invited to give presentations at national conferences and educational institutions throughout the United States.

Larimer was active in the National Conference on Keyboard (Piano) Pedagogy.  Co-author of The Piano Pedagogy Major In The College Curriculum, she was invited to serve as chair of a task force on pedagogy curricula that has prepared updated guidelines for piano pedagogy programs at undergraduate, masters and doctoral degree levels, available at FrancesClarkCenter.org. In July 2011, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy “for substantial and enduring contributions to the field of piano pedagogy."

Her international activities include lecture-series for teacher workshops at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, the International School of Music in Hong Kong and the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music in Russia.  In 1991 she was invited to Leningrad (St. Petersburg) to give lectures on piano pedagogy, teacher training, and group piano. From 1993 to 2004 she organized annual summer piano institutes for American students and teachers held at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory of Music in association with the International Center of Russian Musical Culture.

Graduates from her pedagogy programs are well-known pedagogues, educators, performers and composers. Some notable graduates include Fred Kern, Gayle Kowalchyk, E. L. Lancaster, Jane Magrath, Helen Marlais, and Jennifer Snow, as well as many who have served on the ISMTA board.