About Sanja

About Sanja

I’m Sanja Cemerski and you can find out more about me here! I’ve included information about my training as well as my teaching philosophy. Hope you enjoy learning about my passion for teaching students to play piano!

Sanja Cemerski performing

My Formal Education in Piano

I earned my master’s degree in performance at Washington University in Saint Louis, MO. Prior to my master’s, I completed my undergraduate degree in Piano Performance at the University of Fine Arts in Novi Sad, in the former Yugoslavia.

As a young pianist, I competed in and won several Yugoslavian national piano competitions. While still an undergraduate, I began teaching, which led to my ultimate career choice of piano instruction.

Why I Became a Teacher

My great affection for the piano and its repertoire made me want to share this joy with others. This lead me to a choice between teaching full-time, or performing full-time. When I was performing, I could feel the soul of the music come through the keys, how it resonated in me and in the audience. The joy of performing is amazing, and I love bringing this beautiful instrument to new students! Seeing their pride when they hit the final notes of a well-played piece is incredibly rewarding, and always reminds me why teaching is the right path for me.

My Piano Teaching Philosophy

Many teachers have inspired me in the past and continue to do so now. They have helped me form the basis of my piano teaching philosophy:

“Teaching piano is about much more than teaching just the music.”

Instructing students to play piano is an opportunity to enhance other life skills such as:

  • communication
  • patience
  • confidence
  • joy

I have learned that teaching takes many shapes and forms. The teacher must be able to adapt to students of different skill levels, maturity, and backgrounds, and understand that a student’s emotions come through in how they play. The teacher can then help their students bring together all the parts of themselves, and channel that experience into a more rewarding performance.

My Experience as a Piano Teacher

In the last 28 years, my family has lived all over the world, and I have had the opportunity to teach students of all ages and nationalities.

From 1992-2001, I taught piano at the Music High School in Sabac, Serbia, and at a private music school that I founded. Several of my students won awards a competitions including:

  • Various national piano competitions in the former Yugoslavia
  • The Stressa “Città di Stressa” piano competition in Italy (3rd place in 1996)
  • The Nicolai Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Paris, France (2nd place in 1998)
  • From 2002 to 2003, I taught at the Alcatel Espace Music School in Toulouse, France.
  • From 2003 to 2010 I taught in Saint Louis, MO in the following positions:
    • Teaching assistant – teaching piano course to undergraduate students at the Washington University in Saint Louis from 2004 to 2006
    • Piano faculty of the Saint Louis School of Music from 2004-2008
  • Private studio owner/teacher (2003-2019) with an average of 40 students per year.

From 2010-2012, I taught in the Los Angeles CA area. I became a member of the MTAC (Music Teachers Association of California), and taught at West Valley Music Center in West Valley, CA.

From 2012-2014 I continued to teach private students in my own studio in Bucks County, PA where I served as a Vice President of the BCPTA (Bucks County Piano Teachers Association).

Currently in Norfolk, MA

My family moved to Norfolk, MA in 2014, and have been building my private studio in this area. I travel to the homes of my students and enjoy teaching them where they are comfortable.I also teach in my Studio located in Norfolk, MA. Contact me if you are interested in having me teach you or your children!