Alison Barr’s early musical training was under John Markarian, Music Director of the Westwood, Massachusetts, Public Schools and in the Extension Program of New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. In those two venues, she studied piano, completing the NEC Certificate Program; flute, music theory, choral singing, accompanying and ensemble playing. Her higher education credentials include the degree of Bachelor of Science in Music Education (Instrumental and Choral Music with a concentration in Piano Performance) from the University of Maine at Orono and the degree of Master of Music in Piano Performance from Boston University where her applied teacher was Anthony DiBonaventura.
Ms. Barr owns and operates an independent studio in Hanover, Massachusetts, where she teaches fifty five students of all ages and levels. For 24 years she also maintained a multi-teacher studio in Brookline Village, Mass. She holds the Music Teachers National Association National Certificate and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Music Teachers License.
In addition to her independent teaching, she is originator and director of Creative Consulting Resources, a new company which offers career-building and motivational services to independent music teachers and she is working on a book entitled, I Played It Better at Home Thirty Years of Piano Teaching. Ms. Barr’s article, Reversing the Pyramid — Maintaining High School Students in the Independent Studio, appeared in the Fall, 2007 American Music Teacher’s and was subsequently named Article of the Year. Other publications include a book, Successful Studio Teaching, and numerous articles in Clavier, American Music Teacher, Keyboard Companion, and Massachusetts Music News. Ms. Barr is a frequent lecturer, adjudicator and accompanist for festival choruses.
Ms. Barr now serves as Music Director for Lyric First Stage in Boston, an intensive summer theater program for talented high school students. Also, she has served as Artist- in- Residence at Hanover High School where she accompanied and assisted in the Choral and Piano Lab Programs. She has held positions as Choral Director at both Norwell and Duxbury High Schools. In the spring of 2007, she presented a full-length solo and four-hands piano recital at the James Library in Norwell. For seven years she served as Music Director for Summer Arts at Derby Academy in Hingham, a music theater and performing arts camp.
Her professional appointments include State President for both the Maine and Massachusetts Music Teachers Associations and Independent Music Teachers Forum Chairperson for Music Teachers National Association. Ms. Barr has developed a series of humorous and engaging lectures in music appreciation entitled, Joyful Listening! which she has taught not only in the Boston area and but also at the Avocational Adult Piano Workshop held in Kromeriz, Czech Republic in August, 2002 and 2003. Ms. Barr also originated the Midsummer Adult Piano Retreat, which began in July, 2006, and continues to serve as a faculty member for the workshop every summer at Williams College in the Berkshire region of Massachusetts.
Ms. Barr’s passions include gardening, swimming, weightlifting and writing and tennis. Her son, Ben, graduated from the University of Hartford in May, 2008, and works for the Hartford Life Insurance Company as a Business Analyst. Her husband, Brad, works for the U.S. National Marine Sanctuary Program.