About Simone Parker
Simone Parker teaches piano, violin and viola at her independent studio, Sparkling Keys and Strings, and joined the Austin Peay State University (APSU) department of music faculty as an adjunct instructor in 2012. Since Spring 2015, she offers group and individual sessions in the Alexander Technique.
In 2014, Simone Parker became a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM), accredited through the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and in 2010, she was awarded the Excellence of Teaching Award from the APSU-Community School of the Arts. The award recognizes Simone Parker for her continuous and consistent dedication to realizing the very best from her students, teaching them that in music as in life, great endeavors bring great rewards.
Listen to Simone Parker performing Images, deuxième série by Claude Debussy:
Mrs. Parker currently is the principal pianist at the Paducah Symphony Orchestra and regularly accompanies and performs with students in her independent studio, other community studios, and APSU music students. In the past she has been a church pianist/accompanist and has been the music director for a local church. During the Summer, she presents various summer camps and has been actively involved with the APSU Piano and String Summer Camp and the CSA-Camp Granada.
In spring 2011, Simone Parker founded the Grace Note Youth String Orchestra, now the Clarksville Youth String Orchestra, a community orchestra for string students in the Clarksville and surrounding areas. The orchestra provides students the opportunity to play and perform in an ensemble from early on in addition to individual instruction/group lessons. The ensemble is open to string students of all ages and is divided into three divisions:
- Overture: starting orchestra members/beginners,
- Intermezzo: beginning and experienced students/community members,
- Eleganza: experienced musicians.
Mrs. Parker directed and conducted the ensembles until 2019 when she passed on her leadership role. She continues to support the Clarksville Youth String Orchestra, regularly submits her string students, and serves as an advisor to the ensemble leaders.
In the past, she has been on the faculty at the APSU Community School of the Arts, the Pennyroyal Arts Academy, and the First Clarksville Conservatory. She has also tutored Music Appreciation, Music Analysis, and Music Theory at the APSU Academic Support Center.
Simone Parker has earned a Bachelor of Arts (magna cum laude) in Piano Performance and a Master of Music (with honors) in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy at Austin Peay State University (APSU). There, she studied piano and composition with Dr. Jeffrey Wood and piano pedagogy with Dr. Patricia Halbeck. Simone Parker has participated in Master Classes with Awadagin Pratt, John Roberts and Ilya Poletaev, William Bennett and the Claremont Trio. She has further studied accompanying with Dr. Mary Alice Domenica, Dr. Eunbyol Ko and Ann Glass. On the violin and viola, she has studied with Dr. Emily Hanna Crane, Alvaro Gomez and Douglas Droste.
Mrs. Parker continued her professional study with Sally Ahner, a certified Alexander Technique (AT) teacher, and graduated from a three year teacher certification process with the Chesapeake Bay Alexander Studies Program. The Alexander Technique is a practical discipline to develop body and mind coordination and to create ease of movement and flexibility. To fund her AT studies, she has received the MTNA Teacher Enrichment Grant and Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning Award. In Fall 2015 she became a certified Alexander Technique teacher accredited through the professional organization Alexander Technique International (ATI).
During her graduate studies, Simone Parker has participated and won in many research based competitions. At the APSU Graduate Extravaganza, which showcases graduate research and creative activities, and the annual APSU Research Forum, she received first prize with her research and performance of "Five Pieces for Piano by George Crumb: Expanding the Colors of Sound." This composition, written in 1962, is a work that uses a variety of unusual techniques for piano played both inside and outside of the instrument. The research provided an overview over George Crumb's life. With a demonstration of the variety of techniques employed, the research focused primarily on the pianist's preparation for the performance and concluded with a life performance.
In Spring 2010, Simone Parker won the APSU Concerto Competition and performed the first movement of the Piano Concerto in G major by Maurice Ravel with the APSU Symphony Orchestra. Listen to: Allegramente.
Simone Parker was a founding member of the Piano Trio at APSU. The ensemble focused on repertoire written for violin, clarinet and piano (Simone Parker) and has worked together for several semesters. In Spring 2010, the Trio participated in the first APSU Graduate Extravaganza, showcasing graduate research and creative activities. The ensemble won first prize in the creative arts category with their "Video Performance of Suite, op. 157b for violin, clarinet and piano by Darius Milhaud."
In 2008, Simone Parker was elected Presser Scholar, an honor award based on merit and achievement, and is part of the Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Gamma Beta Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda Honor Societies. In addition, she is currently a member of the following professional organizations: Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC), and Alexander Technique International (ATI). She regularly attends the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP) and has completed the Every Child Can! Suzuki Teacher Training.
As a native of Germany, Simone Parker speaks fluent German and English. While living in Germany, she has earned a Bachelor degree in International Business Administration from the Berufsakademie Mosbach - Bad Mergentheim. The degree was coupled with a student internship at an international renowned company.