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Paola Savvidou

Wellness Coordinator & Global Engagement Advisor
savvidou@umich.edu
734-764-7231
Office: 107 Stearns

Paola Savvidou serves as wellness coordinator and global education adviser for the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. She previously served as assistant professor of piano pedagogy at the University of Missouri where she taught applied piano, undergraduate and graduate courses in piano pedagogy and wellness, and coordinated the Group Piano Program.
 
As a proponent of healthy-living for musicians, she utilizes Laban Movement Analysis, Yoga, and creative movement within her teaching to improve alignment while deepening expressivity in performance. She frequently presents related research work at prominent conferences including the MTNA National Conference, the International Society for Music Education Conference, the European Association for Schools of Music Conference, College Music Society's International Conference, and the European Piano Teachers Association. Her work has won "Article of the Year" through MTNA two years in a row; in 2015 for her article "In Search of the 'Perfect' Musical Performance" published in the American Music Teacher and in 2016 for her interdisciplinary research article "Assessing Injury Risk in Pianists: Using Objective Measures to Promote Self-Awareness" published in the MTNA e-Journal. This latter article is the result of cross-disciplinary research with engineering and physical therapy specialists on the topic of injury-prevention for pianists, funded by a Mizzou Advantage grant. She has also published in the Piano Pedagogy Forum (forthcoming) and MMTA NOTES. In Spring 2015 she received the prestigious Purple Chalk Teaching Award by the College of Arts & Science Student Council at the University of Missouri. 

In the spirit of healthy music-making and exploring new pedagogical frontiers, she is currently building her own piano studio -- Music Lotus -- which offers a unique combination of piano and Yoga partner lessons for younger students. Between 2011-2016 she coordinated the Experiencing Piano Program (a community program offering group class and private lessons for beginning adults and children aged 6-9) and between 2014-2016 she directed the Experiencing Music Program, which brought music classes, drum lessons, choir, and educational concerts by MU students to the Boys & Girls Club of Columbia, MO. She also initiated and directed the Music of the World Piano camp for young children on the MU campus.
 
A devoted advocate of contemporary music, Paola is a member of the New Muse Piano Duo with Jonathan Kuuskoski; an ensemble dedicated to commissioning and performing works by living composers. Their concert tours have included performances across the United States, Norway, Greece, and Cyprus.
 
Dr. Savvidou served as president for the Mid-Missouri Area Music Teachers Association (2014-2016) and as frequent adjudicator for local and State festivals and competitions. She is a Rainbow Kids Yoga Certified Teacher, holds a BM from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and graduate degrees (MM and DMA) in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


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