John Toedtman has played the piano since the age of five and has taught piano lessons in Cincinnati since he and his wife, Melissa, founded The Toedtman School of Music in 1974. Far from following a straight course toards a career in music, John majored in U.S. history for his bachelors degree at William and Mary and spent two years at Michigan Law School before returning to his love, the piano.
Although John has had many prize-winning students, including the world renown concert pianist, Nicholas Angelich, his main goal in teaching piano is to instill a life-long joy of music-making in all of his students whether young or older, beginning or advanced.
Besides teaching six days a week, John enjoys performing recitals and judging competitions such as the National Guild of Piano Teachers auditions. Several years ago John played an all Chopin solo recital and also performed the Rachmaninoff Second Concerto with a second piano accompaniment. John played the Mendelssohn G minor Concerto four times with the Dayton Philharmonic while still in high school and won the Society of American Musicians competition in Chicago.
John is fluent in German and teaches several German students in their native language. He learned German while studying the piano for a year in Hannover, Germany with pianist Karl Engel.
John believes that the pursuit of technique and the study of theory should always be subservient to the joyful making of music. To that end John, incorporates the study of theory as it applies to the music being studied in each piano lesson. Proficient sight reading and productive practice methods are also of great importance toward successfully learning to play the piano well. Developing the student’s creativity and self expression as well as the ability to think logically and analytically about the music being studied is always encouraged. In John’s studio, generous praise is given whenever possible and constructive criticism is always given with a smile.