Kathryn Collins founded this organization on May 6, 1926, calling it Progressive Series Music Teachers.Collins taught music for more than 50 years in the Old Arcade in downtown Cleveland.Her aim was toward developing more efficient teachers and to fill cultural voids in the community.Later, the name was changed to Progressive Piano Teachers Club (1930), Cleveland Piano Teachers Club (1938), and recently to Cleveland Piano Teachers’ Organization.
As of this year, the club has been in existence for over 85 years.Members live not only in Cleveland, but also its suburbs and surrounding communities.Members are active in a variety of musical activities, such as:teaching piano and other instruments; performing, directing and accompanying musical events in churches, schools, colleges, theaters, and concert halls; composing and contributing to music publications; and organizing and judging student contests and festivals.
Over the years, the club has sponsored many excellent educational programs for piano teachers on topics including:piano technique, piano literature, music therapy, Suzuki piano, jazz methods, teaching through games, and motivational approaches.There have been Teacher’s Forum programs, where 3 to 4 club members presented their ideas on a chosen topic. It is this exchange of ideas that is the essence of our organization and inspires our teachers to be the best they can be. Student events sponsored by the organization have included student recitals and contests such as the Student Showcase Recital, Monster Concerts (4-part multi-piano ensembles), and Piano Olympics (games and recital event). Scholarship money has been awarded to students for musical camps and further study.
Our members represent three generations, with members ranging in age from their twenties to eighties.While younger members bring new ideas and fresh talent to our group, our more experienced members have a wealth of knowledge and proven experience to share and can be inspiring mentors to newer teachers.