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Sharla Van Cleave, NCTM
Owner, Founder,
Teacher, Accompanist
Pre-School, Beginner,
Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced, Adults
Performance Anxiety
Theory

Grand Piano

Owner/Founder/Teacher:

Mrs. Sharla Van Cleave,  NCTM  has 0ver 40 years of experience teaching piano and theory.  She attended Abilene Christian University and is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, in Piano..

Mrs. Van Cleave is currently Immediate Past President of Abilene Music Teachers Association and has held most of the offices in the association, including Student Affiliate Coordinator, and chairs of events such as Springer-Manly Music Festival, Ensemble Festival, Fall Festival and Public Relations Coordinator. She has been a piano team director representing AMTA with piano teams at the TMTA State convention and directed a piano team from Abilene MTA at the MTNA National convention in Austin in 2006. 

 

Mrs. Van Cleave accompanied for AISD for 14 years and also Wylie High School, she was one of the accompanist for The Celebration Singers, a community show choir, for 11 years. She has performed in such venues as Abilene Community Theatre,  the Paramount Theatre, Abilene Civic Center and Moody Coliseum. Her solo performances include Artwalk, Abilene Founders Day, and the Abilene Woman's Club.  She performs annually with the AMTA teacher team at the AMTA Showcase Concert.  Mrs. Van Cleave maintains continuing education through workshops, seminars, classes and performing in adjudicated events.  She studied with Shirley J. Anderson, NCTM as a teacher for 11 years.  Mrs. Van Cleave is on the National Guild of Piano Teacher’s National Honor Roll, has earned the National Guild of Piano Teachers Paderewski Medal. She believes that teachers should always strive to continue to learn more. 

 

She has served TMTA (Texas Music Teachers Association) as a theory test grader for 16 years and has served on the TMTA Theory Review Committee. She was chair of the TMTA June Leondar Chamber Music/Ensemble Contest and also served on the Texas Music Teachers Association Board of Directors as state Certification Director for 4 years. Additionally, she has served Music Teachers National Association as South Central Commissioner for the National Certification Commission from 2015-2017.   She is currently head trustee for Texas Music Teachers Association/Texas Music Teachers Educational Foundation. 2019-2022

 

Sharla Van Cleave was awarded AMTA Teacher of the Year Award in  1999 and 2007. She has served AMTA as President three times and as Student Affiliate Coordinator twice.

 

Abilene MTA was the 2002 MTNA Local Association of the Year, under the leadership of Shirley Anderson, NCTM, and TMTA Best of State in 2009 under the leadership of  Sharla  Van Cleave, NCTM. 

Mrs. Van Cleave has been married to William (Ken) Van Cleave for 45 years and has two grown children, Steven (Vince) Van Cleave, and wife Sharon, and Laci Hall and husband Fletcher. She also has 12 year old identical twin grandsons Bryant and Brayden Hall.

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About the Studio 

PianosAreFun, is located  in Abilene, Texas.  High quality private one on one piano lessons are given to students of all ages. PianosAreFun was in the process of going online when Covid 19 hit in March 2020. Covid rushed our plans a little, but our students never missed a lesson due to quarantine. Now that we are online, our studio has grown to include students all over the world. 

 

Our goals for all students remain the same. Our quality for lessons remain the same. It has been interesting to notice that current students have improved in becoming more engaged and asking more questions since going online. 

 

 Students all over the world, now, learn to play the piano with emphasis on reading accurately, understanding music theory and playing with expression.  Focus  is  given  on  working to create a comfortable performance. Each lesson is tailored to the needs of the individual student from week to week. 

 

Online lessons provide convenience, safety, better focus, more student engagement and loss of lessons due to illness, bad weather or location.  Reliable high speed internet is required. Laptop or other large screen device provides the student a better overall experience for viewing documents, referencing specific details in the music and teacher demonstrations.  The teacher's end has multiple camera views and specialized software providing better and more easily understandable demonstrations than in person .  Camera's are angeled for views which provide better than in person visuals and understanding of movement and motion for technique, pedalling and key shapes for chording. 

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We had so much fun with camp last year;
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About the Students!
 
Due to Covid 19 March 2020, Mrs. Van Cleave's studio went on online to support students in quarantine. Since that time the studio has grown to include students located all over the world. It is exciting to see what these students will accomplish and events they may participate in. 
 
Her local students for the past 35 years have received honors such as Texas Music Teachers Association Theory Medals Award Senior Award, AMTA Student Participation Award Winner, AMTA Piano Solo Contest winners, National Guild Auditions Founders Plaque, Bach Plaque, and Paderewski Medals. They have received ratings of Outstanding at the NFMC State Festival and Gold Medals at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest in Austin.  Her students routinely receive high ratings for UIL solos, Festivals and Pianos Solo Contests. Students perform on piano teams at the TMTA convention annually and have performed on a piano team at the MTNA National Conference.  Her students consistently earn medals for the TMTA Theory Tests and receive high ratings in local events and National Guild auditions. Her students have performed and accompanied for school graduations and assemblies, and choir, orchestra, and band events.  They have performed for weddings, and public events. They have also been  school jazz band pianists, honor choir accompanists, and Drum Majors at their University.  As graduated adults they are church pianists, community pianists and community accompanists, professional musicians and professionals  in the music business as well as teachers. 

Our Students enjoy participating in community events and activities such as playing at the Mall of Abilene at Christmas, Artwalk, Retirement Centers and various other venues. We have 45 minute private one on one lessons once a week, and group classes once or twice a semester so students can enjoy and observe their peers and create a bonding studio environment. Our students also enjoy helping as pages for AMTA events such as Springer Manly Music Festival.  

Contact Me & Let's Get Started

Drop a message to me here, or give me a call at 1-325-665-3057

I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have and look forward to hearing from you. 

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TEACHING PHILOSOPHY


      My love of music combined with my enthusiasm and desire for playing the piano makes my job the greatest on earth. Most of the time I find it hard to believe that I actually get paid for “playing” and having fun. My job as a piano teacher is to help the student develop the necessary skills to read music, understand music theory, play with proper technique, and perform musically. My goal is to train the student to function independently as a musician, and share in the lifetime benefits that music provides. Discipline and responsibility are a vital part of this process. Showing my excitement about music, and having fun with the student encourages motivation, discipline and responsibility.

       I believe it is my duty to take advantage of the opportunities that God has provided for me in the field of music. I enjoy sharing the gift of music and feel a responsibility to provide a well rounded musical education. I strive to build confidence in the student’s ability to perform what they have learned. I feel as much pride in students with learning problems, who are able to make the slightest amount of progress through their efforts and hard work, as I do in those who have natural talent and progress rapidly. One of my goals is to teach the student to let go of negative stress and use the lesson time as an escape from the outside world through music. I believe that God has provided and entrusted me with these students and their musical futures.

        It is my obligation to do my best to serve God in this capacity; to make a difference in the lives of my students by influencing them and cultivating the intrinsic motivation that already

exists.