Hey y’all! My name is Melody, and I’m a Southern Girl who is also a piano teacher, blogger, and someone who loves being creative. Online, I’m also known as The Plucky Pianista (pronounced pia-NEE-sta, with more emphasis on the third syllable than the others), and here is the story behind the name.
Someone who is plucky is courageous, brave, and spirited, and has lots of resolution and fortitude. I believe that it DOES take courage, resolution, and sometimes fortitude (among many other things!) to teach piano, and I do my best to exemplify those characteristics throughout all aspects of my teaching. A pianista is simply the Italian word for pianist. And there you have it…The Plucky Pianista!
I’ve been teaching piano lessons since 1990 (Yes, I was just a wee thing, LOL! To be perfectly honest with you, I was 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 worksheets and other resources, music decor items, organizational materials to make teachers’ lives easier, and Bible resources for the Pre-K and after-school program at our church.
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 few different sites, and it has been an honor to collaborate with many amazing musicians over the past several years.
- 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.
If you want to read my official bio, click here.