Jackson Carruthers: Piano

Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance (Summa Cum Laude), University of Akron

Master of Music in Piano Performance, Bowling Green State University

Jackson Carruthers is a pianist with wide-ranging interests. Carruthers holds the degrees of Master of Music in Piano Performance from Bowling Green State University and Bachelor of Arts in Music summa cum laude from the University of Akron. His primary teachers were Dr. Solungga Liu and Dr. Mayumi Kikuchi. He also studied collaborative piano with Laura Silverman, pedagogy with Dr. Cole Burger, and organ with Dr. W. Robert Morrison, FAGO. At UA, he was named the 2017 Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Piano and 2016 Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Accompanying.

Carruthers has performed frequently as both soloist and collaborator throughout Northern Ohio and is an active church musician in the Akron area. In his free time, he enjoys bicycling, photography, collecting and listening to LPs, and World War 2 reenacting.

Learn more about Jackson’s teaching philosophy below.

I firmly believe that playing the piano is a fulfilling, useful skill that can and should be learned by anyone who is interested. To that end, I understand that every piano student is different and has a different idea of what they want to learn. A student’s interests, musical background, and age all play key roles in determining how I teach. First and foremost, playing the piano is something that should be enjoyable and rewarding. This is not to say that it is always easy. However, my goal as a teacher is to help the student deal with difficulties in the most expedient way possible. I believe that technical facility (and the attainment thereof) is merely a means to an end—not an end in and of itself.

I also believe that music is much more than just playing the notes on the page. A true musician not only plays the notes, but plays them in a way that is expressive and unique. Therefore, I strongly encourage students to familiarize themselves with as many different musical genres as possible in order to enlarge their musical vocabulary. I also aim to teach students the basic musical “grammar” (compositional style, historical background,principles of theory) that enables them to put this vocabulary to use. Furthermore, I understand that students will not always take lessons from me in perpetuity. I want my students to have a good understanding of basic musical and physiological principles so that even if they are no longer taking lessons from me, they are still able to keep playing and making progress on their own. My end goal is not to create permanently dependent students, but independent musicians