Jennifer McCabe updated headshot.jpg

Jennifer McCabe - Piano

Jennifer's "Philosophy" -  "I meet you where YOU are."

As a performer, I believe in getting out of my own way and serving the composer’s intent as purely as possible. As a teacher, I am humbled to learn from my students and employ a patient, multifaceted approach that tailors the lesson to each student. Musical skills translate into every area of life and I help students to learn the correlation between diligence and success while experiencing targeted praise and increased self-worth. They learn to recognize the importance and beauty of music. My truest goals as a teacher are to foster a joyful musical experience,  meaningful understanding of music AND to help students grow human beings. Music is LIFE." 

Jennifer "The Teacher"

In summer camps and elsewhere, I have enjoyed guiding my students through the joys of piano ensemble, chamber music literature, and general music. As a private teacher for the last 20 years, I have taught all ages and currently have an inspiring studio of budding pianists in Morton Grove and at the Musical Offering.

I believe in equal access to the arts and volunteer my time to underserved students on a periodic basis. I am an enthusiastic adjudicator in the Chicagoland area. It is wonderful to see the culmination of students' dedication and guide them even higher.

Jennifer "The Collaborative Performer"

I started playing piano at age 6 and earned my B.A. in Piano at the Northern Illinois University School of Music in 1995. I pursued graduate studies in Music Education and Performance at both NIU and Middle Tennessee State University.  Other areas of expertise have included composition, clarinet, saxophone, singing, steel pan, and percussion.

My work as a collaborative pianist, vocal coach and music director has deepened my understanding of the creative process and improved me as a musician. I am active in the music theater, choral, instrumental, and operatic communities some of which have included:

Chicago High School for the Arts, Sinfonietta Bel Canto, Merit School of Music (Renee Fleming Voice Initiative), Music Institute of Chicago, The Opera Divas, North Shore Opera Hour, Northwestern University, Salon, MTNA, Chicago NATS, Opera on Tap, Opera Inter Alia, Lingerie Lyrique, Actors Training Center, DePaul University, Loyola University, Temple Beth Israel, Chicago Waldorf School, and Taft and Lincoln Park High Schools.

I regularly work with distinguished singers affiliated with the Grant Park and CSO Choruses, Lyric and Metropolitan Operas, faculty at Loyola, DePaul, U of W and Roosevelt, as well as Northwestern University and Julliard School graduates.

Fun fact (but not so important)

Music takes you to all kinds of interesting places! Once got to run through the Elgar Cello Concerto with Marc Johnson of The Vermeer Quartet. I have played for Renee Fleming several times, been praised by Ramsey Lewis for my teaching, performed at the Polish Consulate, Music Directed at the Mayne Stage, performed Mozart's first opera in a haunted mansion in Oak Brook, provided a comb for the character Donald Trump in an MO summer camp production, and played outdoor weddings where my music once flew away over a muddy cornfield. (that wasn't fun!) There are MANY more stories.....

People I Have Learned Great Things From

Piano studies with Dr. William Koehler, Mr. Donald Walker and Ms. Charlene Harb. Composition studies with Mr. Mike O’Mara, voice studies with Ms. Diane Schoff, Dr. Victoria Holland, Ms. Sammi Block, Mr. Michael Orlinsky, Ms. Marla Aviva Bentley and Ms. Marley Dzis.

Non-Profit Management

Was once manager of Opera on Tap Chicago bringing opera to the masses in a fun and educational manner.

Vocal Coach, Music Director, and Cantor

Through my many years of playing for voice lessons and choirs, running choral sectionals and a choral program in the mid 90's, being a church musician(Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, Jewish-you name it!), playing for numerous musical theater productions and classes at Northwestern, I have come to channel these skill sets in very distinct ways. I love guiding young singers into healthy vocal production habits and musicianship and have done so at Merit, ChiArts, the MO, choirs and more. I have a long history of involvement in musical theater productions and camps as coach, music director and pianist in the Chicagoland area. It is one of my loves. In the sacred music realm, I have planned, played and cantored music for services.

Other Stuff

Master Classes (as pianist): Michael Ehrman, Renee Fleming, Jane Bunnell, Elizabeth Futral; (as teacher): Ramsey Lewis

Media(as pianist):
(television) WCIU and Chicago Tonight
(radio) WFMT Live from Gottlieb Hall

Reviews: Classical Music Chicago, Chicago Tribune (John von Rhein)

Jennifer “the Regular Gal” 

I grew up in the cornfields of Sycamore, IL -literally- and spent many a happy day on my grandparents’ farm. I am a movie buff and can regurgitate useless entertainment trivia on command.  I love animals and am a staunch supporter of the environment. I have a great sense of humor (at least I think so!) and have many good friends who fill my life with joy and love.


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