Professor of Music; Coordinator of Piano Activities
Carleen Graff is Professor of Music at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire, where she teaches piano performance, piano pedagogy and class piano. Dr. Graff holds the D.A. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado, the M.A. in Applied Piano from the University of Denver and the B.M.E. from Illinois Wesleyan University. She is the recipient of the Master Teacher Certificate from the Music Teachers National Association, the New Hampshire Music Teachers Association’s Teacher-Member of the Year Award, the MTNA National Fellow Award for Distinguished Teaching, 2015, and the 2017 Steinway Top Teacher Award for outstanding instruction and leadership in piano education.
Dr. Graff is the founder of the biennial Piano Monster Concerts (1982), the summer Piano Monster Festival camps (1993), and the Contemporary Piano Festival (1999) at PSU. She is a workshop clinician for music teachers’ groups, presenting master classes, lecture/recitals, and sessions in digital keyboard ensembles, technology for the piano studio, class piano techniques and numerous piano pedagogy topics. A frequent adjudicator for competitions and evaluations throughout the United States and Canada, she has performed solo and chamber recitals in New England, the Mid-West and Germany. She has been a presenter at the German Piano Teachers Association in Schwerin, Germany in 2010, and in May 2013, she was a presenter in Düsseldorf at the European Piano Teachers Association. Her students have received numerous awards for their performances and studies, including the MTNA Competitions, the Granite State Piano Competitions, various concerto performances, and graduate programs in piano performance and pedagogy.
Dr. Graff also teaches pre-college piano students, and oversees the community young piano students at PSU. In addition, she directed the Plymouth Digital Keyboard Orchestra for young students for many years and has many digital keyboard works published by Ogilvy Music in Denton, Texas: concertos, original works, arrangements of orchestral compositions and arrangements of Christmas carols.
She has served Music Teachers National Association for two terms as the National Coordinator of the MTNA Collegiate Artist Performance Competition and as National Chair of the MTNA Composition and Performance Competitions. As past-president of MTNA Eastern Division, she completed a two-year term on the Board of Directors and served as Chair of the Collegiate Chapter Forum and Chair of the Collegiate Chapter Task Force. She also served two two-year terms on the national nominating committee. She has had articles published in the American Music Teacher on Festivals and Competitions, on MTNA Collegiate Chapters, and several reviews of piano solo and ensemble music. A past National Certification Commissioner, Dr. Graff worked in administering the MTNA Professional Certification program, which exists to improve the level of professionalism in music teaching. In addition, she has held many offices in the New Hampshire Music Teachers Association, including President, Treasurer, Yearbook editor, Webmaster, and Vice-President for Competitions. She currently serves NHMTA as Chair of the Fall Festival, which she initiated.