Biography of Bruce Berr

An independent piano teacher for many years, BRUCE BERR has also served on the faculties of numerous institutions, including Washington University in St. Louis and Roosevelt University in Chicago where he taught piano and was coordinator of piano pedagogy for thirteen years. His articles on music and piano teaching have appeared in the major keyboard journals, and he has been associate editor for Keyboard Companion and Clavier Companion magazine since 1997. His highly popular column on personal observations, “ad lib,” appears regularly on the last page of American Music Teacher magazine.


Dr. Berr is also a composer and arranger of educational piano music. His most recent publication is Eight Sound Poems, by Opus Music Publishers. He served as a consultant, composer, and clinician for Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation's piano method series for children. Hal Leonard also distributes his arrangements of Chanukah and Passover holiday music, as well as several arrangements of patriotic duets for young pianists. Berr also has several books of compositions with other publishers, including At the Seashore, Vols. I and II, by FJH Music Company; these volumes were on the Federation List. When he first started publishing educational music in the early 1990s, Clavier magazine featured two of his pieces in its "Commissioned by Clavier" pages.

Berr has travelled extensively to twenty states and the District of Columbia to present workshops and master classes. He has done programs and demonstration teaching for the World Piano Pedagogy Conference, MTNA National Conferences, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and for dozens of professional music teacher associations throughout the country.


Bruce Berr received his degrees in piano and pedagogy from Washington University in St. Louis and Northwestern University, where his principal piano teachers were William Schatzkamer and David Kaiserman. He also studied in New York with Etsko Tazaki, Jonathan Feldman, and Edna Golandsky. His pedagogy teachers have included Frank Murphy, Frances Larimer, Marcia Bosits, and Elvina Pearce. As a young child, his first piano teacher was Thelma Mildé.


Berr's hobbies include watching movies and old sitcoms on TV, playing with computers, studying linguistics, listening to world-band radio on the internet, and participating in ham radio. He holds a General Class amateur radio license and is heard on the international ham bands as W9KBR. Bruce Berr and his wife, Jennifer Merry, live in Glenview, Illinois with their dog Frango, and their cats Tiger and Seiko. Despite being a rational person in most other respects, inexplicably, he is still a Chicago Cubs fan.

Bruce Berr can be reached via e-mail.

Recent Awards

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