Theory & Skills (College)
Carol Ann Aicher earned her doctorate of education from Columbia University Teachers College; a Master of Music degree in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music; a piano pedagogy certificate from MSM’s Piano Pedagogy Institute; and a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance with a minor in music history from Oberlin College Conservatory.
Dr. Aicher frequently lectures on pedagogy, presents workshops, and adjudicates at festivals and competitions. As an educational consultant she has developed teaching assessments and curriculums based on the National Education Standards for various institutions. Dr. Aicher served as Vice President of the Northeast Chapter of the College Music Society from 2012 to 2014 and was West Chester University’s first honorary member of the international music sorority Sigma Alpha Iota.
As both soloist and accompanist, Dr. Aicher has performed at many venues and is a founding member of Mod 2, a duo with English horn player Kevin Chavez. Together with Mr. Chavez and Ryan Michael Hartman, Dr. Aicher hosts the podcast “Greenroom Conversations: The Process, Unplugged,” a series of interviews with performing arts professionals. “Greenroom Conversations” explores successful individual careers for themes that may help listeners make their own artistic way.
Dr. Aicher was Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at West Chester University of Pennsylvania from 1999 to 2003. The graduate pedagogy courses she has taught at Manhattan School of Music since 2001 are for all majors; this approach using principles and skills that are applicable to every musician is a specialty that she and her predecessor Vera Wills developed that is unique in the field of pedagogy.
Dr. Aicher incorporates contemporary educational philosophies and brain-based research into her courses. The curriculum is focused on increasing the students’ understanding of their own learning skills in order to help themselves as well as others. Understanding the learning process allows students to benefit from core thinking and learning skills in solving musical problems. The “Learning as a Process (LAAP)” philosophy of teaching, which was the subject of Dr. Aicher’s dissertation, has evolved to include new learning techniques to strengthen the connection between learning, practicing, and performing; to reduce performance anxiety; and to facilitate peak performance.