Anna has been playing and teaching piano professionally for 10 years, the last 7 being spent in Chicago. After receiving a bachelors of music in piano performance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire focused on classical playing, she felt pulled to understand music in different contexts.
In Chicago, she began writing and performing as a comedy music director. For those unfamiliar with this type of work, there are many forms of it. Anna writes music for sketch shows (in the style of SNL). Though she more often performs what’s called ‘Long-Form Improv’, getting her start at Chicago’s iO theater. Long-form improv is a bit like making a 30 minute film: the improv cast creates the characters, setting, dialogue, and sometimes even song lyrics and melodies. The music director composes the score and any musical accompaniment supporting the songs that the characters want to sing. But they do it all together on the spot for a live audience, building it around an audience suggestion.
Her personal teaching philosophy is excellence through compassion. Every person has different needs and motivations. She focuses the most of her energy into seeking to understand how a student thinks and feels. She believes this is the key to hone in on their capacity to excel. She feels privileged to guide students to places they never thought they could go.