In just her first days as Crossroads’ new music teacher, Marschnee Strong was approached by students sharing their music experiences with her, including instruments played and compositions written. She even heard from a number of faculty about their work as performers.
“It’s clear to me that we’re a very creative community,” she says.
Marschnee received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music (Piano Performance) from Webster University. After spending some time on Chicago’s North Shore, she returned to St. Louis in 2007. She has taught piano privately, at Maryville University, the Community Music School of Webster University, and through her own studio, M. Strong Studios. She served as music coach for Music Today, a new music composition ensemble, where students learned modern techniques in composition, improvisation, and performance of contemporary works.
Marschnee will bring that experience guiding and mentoring students in music performance and composition through the courses she will teach, including Intro to Music, Computer Music/Composition, and Contemporary Ensemble.
Her own approach to music and performing arts complements Crossroads’ emphasis on helping students find their voice and providing balance through flexibility. “Growing up, I had a lot of latitude in what I played versus what you see at many schools with a set concert your teacher is asking you to play a certain piece for,” she notes. “Having a lot of say in what I felt like playing helped me set goals and stay motivated.”
Marschnee hopes to create different platforms for students to be able to perform their work, and connect students to resources and opportunities outside of school. She is the Founder and President of the St. Louis Music and Performing Arts Club, which connects students with resources such as music performance scholarships and awards.
The Rochester, NY native has a musical family: her husband is a musician and both her children now play instruments. “Yes, I am their piano teacher, but it was their choice! I want my children to love music for a long time, not because their mom and dad are musicians!”