Beth Sussman is a Juilliard trained pianist and a Master Teaching Artist with a number of arts organizations including The Los Angeles Music Center. In addition to performing throughout Europe and North America, Beth has devoted much of her time of sharing her love of classical music with young people through both school performances and workshops/residencies. She is very much in demand as both a performer and teaching artist throughout Southern California and has also presented Professional Development for teachers as well as teachers-in-training at Cal State Fullerton, Hofstra University (NY), Diller-Quaile School of Music (NY) and at various school districts throughout Southern California including LAUSD, Burbank, Glendale, Bassett, Mountainview, Castaic among others. She was a lead teacher for the Music Center's Institute for Educator's for six consecutive years and believes that music and movement are not only integral for a whole education, but can be used to reach students who might understand concepts more readily through the arts.
Beth Sussman's workshops and residencies focus on using music as a pathway to understanding academic concepts. Students learn musical terms, come to appreciate various types of music (with an emphasis on classical music) the value of teamwork and critical thinking as they covertly come to understand concepts such as main idea, comparing and contrasting, fractions, symbols and author's purpose, to name a few. Artist customizes lessons according to each school's needs and can offer anywhere from 2 - 12 workshops for grades Pre-K - 5. School Assemblies: Beth Sussman is the first and only classical pianist on the Music Center on Tour roster. Her program focuses on audience participation as she brings classical music down to earth with famous works recognizable from cartoons, commercials and movies. Students participate by dancing the "Juba Dance" rhythm (the piece is by African-American composer Nathaniel Dett), using musical terms to suggest interpretations that Beth plays back for them, and describe the mood of a piece by Mexican composer, Manuel Ponce.
"Musically Speaking" is a teacher friendly PD workshop that shows participants how to use musical terms and percussion instruments to bring text to life in an easy and engaging manner. Step by step written instructions, and musical examples for each musical term (through a link on the sound cloud) teach participants the musical terms and their symbols as we learn to "notate" or "score" a story using context clues. Sound props and percussion instruments (instructions are included on how to make simple percussion instruments, if desired) are then added to highlight the text. This method engages English language learners as well as native speakers in a fun way that emphasizes critical thinking, teamwork, cooperation, creativity, rehearsing and revising.