Sherry VanOveren is the instructor for Piano in "Action."
Sherry has her Masters Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Michigan State University. She began her piano studies with her parents at 5 years old. Sherry won a scholarship to study for a year with pianist Hans Leygraf at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. She then went on to study at Michigan State University with artist in residence, Ralph Votapek.
- Professional Accompanist GVSU Students
- Private Piano Instructor
- Private Voice Instructor
- Ada Congregational Church Organist/ Accompanist/ Music in Worship Coordinator/ Director of Special Ensembles
- Calvin College Piano instructor for Piano Minors
- Spring Arbor College Piano Instructor for Piano Majors and Minors
- Michigan State University Youth Music Instructor/ Taught piano class/ private lessons
- Lansing Community College Piano and Voice Instructor/ Accompanist
- Michigan State University Graduate Assistant, Taught Private Piano Lessons for Piano Minors, Accompanied University Chorale, Accompanied & Coached Voice and Instrumental Students, & Performed in the Student Chamber Ensemble
Sherry has been a piano instructor for Calvin College, Spring Arbor College, Lansing Community College and Michigan State University. She currently runs her own piano studio, teaching students from age 4 through senior citizens. Sherry is a professional accompanist and also the organist and co-director of music with her husband Edward at Ada Congregational Church. She enjoys cooking, baking, reading, spending time with her family and continuing to work on her piano series for young children, "Piano in Action!"
- Artist, Jake Barnes, 10 yrs.
MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITYEast Lansing, MI., Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy,
Bachelor of Music in Voice and Music Education
MOZARTEUMSalzburg, Austria, Piano Performance
CALVIN COLLEGEGrand Rapids, MI., Piano and Vocal Performance
AQUINAS COLLEGEGrand Rapids, MI., Education Teaching Certificate
Rating Sheet for the St. Cecilia Festival
2nd Comments Sheet From St. Cecilia Gold Cup Festival
Dr. Christine Larson
"When my daughter was young, she took piano lessons from Sherry VanOveren. Now, at age 68, it's my turn. I take piano lessons from Sherry at The Sherry VanOveren Studio!
Back in the day when I was searching and researching piano teachers for my daughter, a respected friend whose daughter had also taken lessons from Sherry, suggested I check Sherry out...which I did. And I am so grateful that Sherry's teaching lives on today, in my daughter's life, as an adult. And for me, Sherry has more than rekindled my love and study of the piano.
First of all, Sherry has studied piano and piano teaching in depth. Not only has she studied the piano; she has studied its infusion with our brain function and behavior, and I am talking years and years of study and action on Sherry's part!
One of Sherry's greatest qualities as a teacher is her never-ending actions of positive attitude that inspires us no matter our age or ability. She is very skilled and her energy is contagious. Her humor, mindfulness and ability to communicate with all of us, where we are at, teaches us to learn and want to learn, piano.
Sherry utilizes a teaching method that she has developed over many years of study and teaching experience. It is called "Piano in Action." Her teaching method is very exciting and engaging...and fun. More information regarding "Piano in Action" is on this website, www.pianoinaction.com.
Sherry does many additional activities with and for her students. Here are some of these activities:
1. S.T.A.R. Recital...Student Taught Action Recital Students talk about the composer of their piece and about how the title relates to the structure of the piece. The students lecture to the audience and perform their piece.
2. Benefit Recital for Feeding America of West Michigan Over the past 8 years, Sherry's students have raised over $9,000 for West Michigan families in need.
3. End of Year Family Recital - Each student prepares 5 or more pieces to play for her or his own family in a recital setting at their home.
4. Halloween Scream - Students make homemade caramel and hot fudge to dip apples into. Then they play a Halloween recital in costume while the apples are cooling.
5. Christmas Dinner Music at Pilgrim Manor - Students make homemade Christmas cards for the Pilgrim Manor residents, and the students play Christmas music while the residents eat dinner.
6. Piano Recordings on CD's- Sherry records students' completed piano pieces on a single CD which she gives to the students to take home to their families. Within our piano recordings, students learn how to speak into a microphone, introducing their piece, the date and the composer. The CD follows the students' growth in piano.
Thank you for reading this testimonial of Sherry VanOveren and her studio. I know you can see why Sherry VanOveren is the First choice, Cream of the crop, Only-way-to-go, Must-have, No-matter-the-age, kind of piano teacher! Again, please check out more of Sherry's "Piano in Action" and The Sherry VanOveren Studio on this website, www.pianoinaction.com."
Michele Wells, The Piano Teachers' Forum
Thank you so much for coming out to share your ideas with our forum. I know I use the games I learned from you almost daily. I really think your ideas will inspire teachers to get off the bench and try something new - spice up the lesson a bit! Thanks for taking the time to prep all the materials and set up the room and everything. And thanks for being an inspiration to me!"
Jason, Kelly & Avery
Thank you so much for your kindness and patience with teaching Avery. She loves the piano in part because of the wonderful teacher you are! Wishing you all the best for a wonderful Christmas and Happy New year.”
“I have been with Sherry for over 30 years. When I first started with her I thought I knew how to sing.. I did not.. Sherry taught me how to use my stomach and lungs, not my throat, taught me how to enunciate correctly, words with the notes when I sing. How to read notes better.”
“I cannot say enough wonderful things about my time with Sherry VanOveren as my voice teacher. I first came to her when I was 15 years old. I auditioned for my high school musical and did not get in. I decided I wanted to take voice lessons to improve my abilities. From the beginning Sherry created a wonderful environment that was conducive to learning, and where I felt safe to make mistakes. I remember she assessed where my skills were when I started, asked me what my goals were, and began to work with me right away to help me improve. The work I did with Sherry not only improved my singing, but also my breathing, and acting ability. Sherry worked with me on how to prepare for an audition, how to select a suitable section of a song, and how to make a good impression with those I was auditioning for. In the years to follow I was cast in many musical productions, and admitted into Circle in the Square Theatre School in Manhattan. Entering this program, I had a distinct advantage after my time working with Sherry. My breathing had improved, along with my technique, and all around stage presence. Sherry VanOveren helped me to become a confident and relaxed performer. The work I did with Sherry has helped me greatly as a performer, and as a person. I continue to benefit from my time studying with her to this day.
I'd also like to say how delightful it was to come and sing with Sherry week after week. I always looked forward to my voice lessons. I always left feeling better about myself and life. I highly encourage others to take advantage of the opportunity to sing with Sherry VanOveren.”
"I studied voice with Sherry while I was in high school, and though it was only for a few years, I find that the skills and understanding of my voice that Sherry helped me to develop are still a constant gift in my career today. She set me up to be disciplined with my breathing and placement, and was the first to help me link my body (and how I used it) to my breath, and consequently to my voice. Because of the work I did with her, I went to drama school equipped with an ingrained familiarity with my own voice, and now that I work professionally, her training serves me in plays and musicals alike, whenever I open my mouth. Thank you, Sherry!"