As a veteran music and piano teacher, performer, and composer during the past thirty-five years, Barbara Wolfman brings with her many inter-related experiences in a variety of art forms. In addition to acting, singing, and dancing in musical theater productions, she’s also served in a supportive role as an accompanist in a wide variety of choral venues both here in the United States and in Europe. She has a degree in music education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and has taught both general music and piano to students ages 6 to seniors at all stages of development both in Wisconsin and Montana, where she was a vocal coach to international students and an adjunct piano teacher at Rocky Mountain College.
In her own words, she shares some of the gleanings of her music education and inspiration for bringing music to life for herself and others:
“From a young age, the arts have played important roles in my life. As a young child, I remember singing, harmonizing, and dancing to music with my mom, my aunts, and my grandmother especially during the holidays and other special occasions when we gathered together. I began taking formal piano lessons when I was seven, and while I enjoyed playing and singing at the piano, it was sometimes challenging to get myself to the piano to ‘practice.’ At that age, I hadn’t developed the skills yet to know the ‘hows’ of practicing. Thankfully with support from my parents and some wonderful teachers, I was able to learn some important practice (and life) skills. Retrospectively, I realize that some of these skills include:
- How to focus my attention, notice details, and refine listening skills
- How to anchor foundational building blocks of knowledge and to reference them in building upon them
- How to break down complex things into simpler parts in order to master them
- How to set goals and work at achieving them with patience and dedication
- (Perhaps most important) How to have courage and faith in being able to achieve challenging things and to ask for help when needed along the way.
In addition to teaching piano at PMA, Barbara will be leading the Resonance young composer program. As a published composer with work performed in various countries around the world, Barbara enjoys inspiring and empowering her students to “think like a composer” and to explore musical ideas of their own, following intuition as well as growing levels of musical experiences, knowledge and skills which further the exciting journey of musical self-expression. “Whatever a person’s age, background, interests, or learning styles, it is a joy to participate with them in their learning journey when they’re ready to discover themselves through the world of music!”
Barbara is the proud mother of a daughter who is a cellist and a community-minded visual artist living in Chicago, IL and a snowboarding son who is a violinist, guitarist and composer who works in the world of finance in Denver, CO. She also enjoys the music of her twin granddaughters who are learning to play the piano, violin and viola and are having fun creating some of their own music as well.