Heather Niemi Savage, Teacher
I believe all people are inherently musical. We are musical beings; music is part of our make-up as individuals and integral to our communities. Music helps us to connect with ourselves, others, and the natural world. The study of music helps students gain confidence, express emotion, improve communication skills, develop the ability to focus, identify patterns, and integrate knowledge from a variety of fields. Music is one of the most valuable activities a person can do.
I work with students individually and in group classes, in-person and online, guiding them in a self-discovery of musical concepts. My mentorship provides an accepting, nurturing and encouraging, yet disciplined, relationship that helps students aspire toward excellence and achieve success in their piano playing and composing. Students have the opportunity to collaborate with others through group lessons and share their work at year-end recitals. Additionally, I will advise students on further activities that will aid their growth and help them toward their goals.
Through my work as a composer, teacher, collaborative pianist, and church musician, I celebrate the communal and cultural aspects of music and am committed to bringing musicians and community members together through a range of musical experiences accessible to all people.
My teaching credentials include:
- Over 25 years’ experience teaching privately
- Experience teaching students of all ages and abilities
- Experience teaching neurodiverse students with ADHD, dyslexia, and autism
- Induction into Phi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honor Society
- Recipient of the President’s Award in Elementary Education at the University of Rhode Island
- Students score highly in state solo/ensemble festival
- Students accepted into elite ensembles such as All-State Band, Rhode Island Youth Wind Ensemble, Festival Youth Orchestra at New England Conservatory
- Students accepted into college music programs for performance and composition
- Demonstrated high level of musical skill through my professional work as a collaborative pianist and composer
- Certified Ultimate Music Theory Elite Educator
My non-musical life is full of nature – well, as best as I can. Though I would love to live off-grid it really isn’t a realistic goal for me. I use too much electricity, I still use some plastic, I don’t eat everything organic, not *everything* is homemade, and I can’t not wear polyester. Sorry, it’s just way too comfortable, care-free and easy wash.
But that being said, we heat our home exclusively with wood, and I have a huge organic garden with heirloom and open-pollinated veggies, along with fruit trees and berry bushes. I preserve the harvest and do my own canning. We raise chickens, and I hope to get back to raising milking goats. I make bread, cheese, and wine. I am also a home-herbalist and prepare teas, tinctures, and other remedies for my family and friends.
I love to be outdoors. I like to camp, hike, canoe, ride my bike, fish, or just stare at the stars. Inside, I like to read (mostly non-fiction), crochet, or cross-stitch, and I have been known to pull out my sewing machine on rare occasions. There is never enough time to enjoy it all.
I don’t watch TV or movies on a regular basis, and I don’t follow sports. But if you’d like to have a discussion about love, art, or the meaning of life over a hot or cold drink, I’m all in.
My husband is a pastor (and also a musician), so that makes me a pastor’s wife. We have two grown children whom I home-schooled. Both are now off to college and are pursuing music as one of their majors.
Check out my composer site here!