Dr. Melody Hanberry Payne is a classically trained pianist and enjoys teaching piano lessons in her home studio to children of all ages and abilities. Additionally, she writes blog posts geared towards piano teachers, and she enjoys spending time creating and selling educational materials in her online music resources store for music teachers and students around the world.
Melody is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music who began her full-time teaching career at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has also taught at Louisiana State University, Sterling College, Mississippi College, and Emory and Henry College. In 2009, Mississippi College presented her with the Pittman Young Faculty Award for excellence in teaching and for leading and directing the Taylor School, the MC Department of Music’s musical outreach program for children and adults in the community. Additionally, Melody designed and administered the Piano Pedagogy Master’s Degree Program at Mississippi College.
Dr. Payne holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy and Doctor of Philosophy in Music with emphases in music education and piano pedagogy from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, where she studied piano with Constance Carroll and piano pedagogy with Steve Betts. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, the Virginia Music Teachers Association, and served as President of the Blue Ridge Music Teachers Association.
She has presented research on practicing, early- and intermediate-level pedagogical piano compositions, and piano performance accuracy at the National Conference of the Music Teachers National Association, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and the Mississippi Music Teachers Association State Conference. She has presented lecture recitals and workshops on beginning group keyboard experiences, intermediate piano literature, practicing, and technology in the piano studio at local and state levels.
Melody and her husband Greg live in Marion, Virginia, a small town nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
Hi! I’m Melody, and I’m a self-employed musician who teaches piano lessons in Marion, Virginia. Being a piano teacher is one of my favorite things in the world. In short, I’m a Southern Girl who is also a piano teacher, blogger, and someone who loves being creative.
I have a doctorate in music, and I’ve been teaching piano lessons since 1990 (Yes, I was just barely in high school!). Teaching piano lessons, especially to beginners who are in elementary school, has always been one of my favorite things, and I couldn’t imagine my life without my sweet students. They bring so much joy to my week, and seeing their lightbulb moments when they nail a new concept makes my day every single time!
I have always loved creating resources for my own students and wanted to share those resources with other teachers, so in October 2013 I began my Teachers Pay Teachers journey so I can make those resources available to teachers and students around the world. My passion for creating continues to grow on a daily basis! I love putting together music worksheets and other resources, music decor items, organizational materials, and Bible resources.
I have also enjoyed blogging about piano teaching and all things music-related since 2012. My original blog, The Plucky Pianista, along with its articles and freebies is still available, and all my new and more recent posts are located here on my current website.
My work has been featured on a variety of different sites, and it has been an honor to collaborate with many amazing musicians over the past several years.
- Unlocking Your Musicality, Part 1 Contribution to the 100th episode celebration of The Musicality Podcast at Musical-U with Christopher Sutton
- Getting “Off Book” Podcast Interview on The Musicality Podcast at Musical-U with Christopher Sutton
- “The Top Influential Piano Blogs You Should Be Reading” at Digital Piano Review Guide
- “7 Piano Experts Share Their Business Growing Tips” at Tim Topham
- “TTTV 052: Teaching Skype Lessons with Melody Payne” Podcast Interview at Tim Topham
- “Problem solved! Seeking solutions online. Part 1: Blogs” by Karen Thickstun, Cara Haxo, Abigail Huston, and Joanna Reinhardt in Clavier Companion Magazine, July/August 2015. My original Plucky Pianista blog was listed as number 3 of 20 music teaching blogs that resonated with college piano pedagogy majors, according to their evaluation rubric.
- “Choosing a Life in Music” at Musical-U.com (scroll down to the last section of the post)
In addition to all the incredible music projects I am blessed to be part of, I love things that are totally not music related (Ghirardelli hot cocoa, fuzzy slippers, sunrises and sunsets, snuggling, baking… Those are all incredibly comforting, don’t ya think?). My favorite thing in the world is being with my amazing hubby Greg. We LOVE traveling and going on fun adventures together, especially to small towns and national parks, and we love exploring new restaurants with amazing food! We’ve been married since 2010, and we’re loving every minute of it! We live in a home that we have been renovating in Marion, Virginia, a charming and peaceful town nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of southwest Virginia.