Samantha Steitz is a piano pedagogy expert specializing in early childhood music education, creative curriculum curation, and holistic teaching methods. In 2016, she co-founded Musikal Husky with Steve Aho, a percussionist and notation expert. Additionally, she manages a private music production and education firm located in Graz, Austria, Steitz & Aho. Samantha also teaches privately at her small boutique piano studio that emphasizes parental involvement, Suzuki Method, ear-training, English language immersion, socialization, and integrated development of beautiful technique and sound.
a holistic approach
& Teaching philosophy
Samantha's philosophy regarding music education is centered around creating an enriching experience for the student, often in conjunction with members of the child's family. Approaching a child's development from a holistic standpoint is a central theme of her work. Through this lens, teachers facilitate overall growth by cultivating critical life skills and self-esteem. In essence, the process of learning an instrument is a vehicle for social, emotional, technical, auditory, visual and linguistic development.
A holistic perspective addresses the child within the context of their individual family, and encourages as many members as possible to support the student. In her private teaching studio, parents attend all lessons and are expected to participate in the learning process.
This approach also considers each child's specific abilities with an attitude of openness, non-judgement and warmth. Wouldn't a studio (or world) be quite boring if we were all the same? Rather, we seek a deeper exploration into each student's uniqueness and develop their skills accordingly.
In 2016, Samantha co-founded a music education company called Musikal Husky. The project originated after deciding to self-publish pedagogy resources written while teaching in Los Angeles, California (2013-2016). During this time, Samantha ran a private music studio and was astounded at the lack of clear, pedagogically relevant materials on the market for teaching children the critical reading skills they needed to learn. She began writing materials with Steve Aho to use with her students and was pleasantly surprised with the results.
Musikal Husky seeks to expand far beyond "music education" and into the design and lifestyle sphere. The resources are clear, minimal, and nature-inspired. All materials are created by teams of designers, illustrators, and pedagogues to create beautiful yet effective products.
Animals and nature are the focus point of the illustrations found throughout the Musikal Husky's products. The name is inspired by Samantha's 3-year-old husky, Leika, who loves sing-howling along to piano music.
Musikal husky's Rhythm Keeper
The Rhythm Keeper is Musikal Husky's first publication and is now available in the US and EU. It is a flexible resource developed for students of all ages and instruments to learn the critical skill of counting with subdivision. Easy-to-grasp visual instructions, hundreds of practice exercises, and high-quality materials & binding make this an invaluable part of every music student and teacher's collection.
For more information on the Rhythm Keeper and Musikal Husky Blog, please visit www.musikalhusky.com.
Pedagogy training, playing,
& professional development
Samantha grew up in Manhattan, New York, where she attended Mannes College Prep. and the Dalton School. After graduating, she moved to Southern California, CA for her university years at Scripps College. There, she studied classical piano performance and political science. During this time, she fell more deeply in love with playing the piano and traveled to Vienna to study for a semester.
After graduating, she worked with the Development Team at New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall before moving back to Los Angeles. There, she started a highly successful private piano studio, often praised for the quality of the young children's playing as well as the sense of camaraderie and community. During this time, she developed a unique curriculum that includes both weekly private lessons with the parent and also a group/performance/theory/ear-training class for the students. This fun weekly theory class distinguishes her teaching style and studio from others. Furthermore, ongoing professional development training with pedagogy mentors Mary Craig Powell and Marina Obukovsky enriched her methodology. These experiences offered valuable insight into how 'master' teachers achieve their spectacular results.
It was also during these formidable teaching years that Samantha began to seriously question the established teaching materials and began conceiving her own.
From August 2016-7, Samantha served as the President of SMAC-LA (Suzuki Music Association of California Los Angeles), and the President-Elect the year prior. During these years, she worked closely with the Los Angeles Suzuki Institute (LASI) Director as the Media & Piano Program Coordinator, gaining valuable insight into large events curation, organizational management, non-profit law and even website design.