Marilyn with Mrs. Mattioli
Hello Piano Students and Music Lovers!
Many of you might know me through my husband and pianist Dr. Cory Hall or, “BachScholar ® through Cory’s popular YouTube channel. Cory and I are most thankful and grateful for all of our piano students we have and obtained through YouTube or the BachScholar ® website. We count our blessings everyday and are just pleased that we can do what we love to do by teaching others.
Music has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. I was about 4 years old when my parents bought me a small wooden toy piano. It was the kind of toy piano that had colored stickers on the keys which corresponded to the color coded music notes in the book. I loved that little piano and was always tinkering around on it. One day out of the blue, my mother asked me if I wanted to take piano lessons. With no hesitation I said, “YES!” Afterwards, she was on a mission to find a piano and a piano teacher. I started lessons at a young age of 5 and haven’t stopped learning.
My first piano teacher was Mrs. Eileen Mattioli. She was a very popular teacher in Saint Petersburg, Florida. So much so, I think she had up to 80 students at the height of her career. It even hit the newspaper when the popular piano entertainer Liberace had dinner at her home. I took piano from Mrs. Mattioli from 5 to 18 years old. In the early years she taught me “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” up to Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique in my high school years. She saw me grow up. Later, she became my mentor.
After high school, I majored in Piano Performance and Pedagogy. My goal was to work for Mrs. Mattioli but she wouldn’t allow me until I obtained a degree in Music. I studied with Mr. Larry McCann at Saint Petersburg College and then Dr. Averill Summer at the University of South Florida in Tampa. As you can imagine, I was submersed in music and these were some of the best musical years of my life. As a piano performance major, you have to be ready to perform solo often and accompany other instrumentalists and vocalists for their performances and exams. You also have to be a part of ensemble and play with other instrumentalists. This was a wonderful experience (almost fantasyland-like) but needless to say, there is no spare time for anything else and if there is, it is spent in the practice rooms. After my time at Saint Petersburg College and USF, Mrs. Mattioli hired me and I began my teaching career. I worked for her at her music studio from 1994-2014. To this day, we still hold our annual recitals together.
During this time, my husband and I had our first child. Even though I had a successful teaching career my mind was on stability for my family in the form of pensions, good health insurance and a 401K. This is when I decided to obtain a job with a large Fortune 500 Telecommunications Corporation. I never abandoned my teaching but continued to teach during my 17 good years at the telecommunications company. During my time working there, I took advantage of their generous prepaid tuition plans. I was able to obtain a degree in Marketing and a Masters degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. I even took about a years worth of Ph.D classes in Psychology.
Discouragement started to set in when after my Masters, I tried to obtain a better position within the company by applying to various jobs and even one or two out of state. I never got a call, email, or interview. Right around this time, my husband Cory had just started his own business (BachScholar Publishing) after working for two colleges and as organist at a large Methodist Church. He knew about my discouragement and asked if I wanted to join him. His passion is my passion, so of course, I said, “YES!”
This is where I am today…..I started my love of piano 44 years ago and am continuing on. Most piano students think that they are only the “student.” However, I am continually learning from my students.
Over the years, Marilyn has participated in FMTA & FMTG music recitals and competitions winning First Place or Superior ratings in many of them. She has played and performed for weddings, chamber groups, and as a church accompanist. Marilyn teaches piano with her husband Cory out of their home in St. Petersburg, Florida and is also a piano teacher at Grace Lutheran Conservatory of Fine Arts and accompanist to the school and church choirs. Marilyn is currently the Associate Music Director at Grace Lutheran Church and School. Marilyn and Cory are now grandparents to 2 beautiful girls as of November 2017 and October 2019.