Experience Teaching Piano

Ms. Johansen-Werner is passionate about her students. Every child has their own interests, learning styles, and goals. As their teacher, Bonnie thrives on seeking the keys that open music to each child, meeting them where they are and nudging them into new worlds of expression.

Her extensive experience teaching private piano began when she taught her first piano lessons while still in high school in Barrington, Illinois. But her skills and ability as a teacher have grown significantly through the decades.

Ms. Johansen-Werner trained in piano at Augustana College (Rock Island, IL) where she earned a Bachelor of Music Performance degree, emphasis in piano performance. At Augustana she studied with Brynolf Lundholm (MM Eastman School of Music)  and Dr. Ronald Moore (DMA, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL). She continued her professional training in the area of composition, earning a Master of Church Music degree at Concordia University, emphasis in liturgical composition, where she studied with Richard Hillert Richard Hillert and Carl Schalk.

Between her degree studies, Bonnie began a private piano studio in the Quad-Cities (Illinois), taking her students to National Federation of Music Clubs competitions and National Guild of Piano Teachers auditions. Her teaching focused on well-rounded musicians who learned technique, sight-reading, and performance skills.

Today, students in her Joliet, Illinois studio (est. 2003) perform in recitals or concerts several times per year. Two formal recitals are held each year in which students perform. Other performing opportunities include biennial performances at PianoFest, performances at area churches, annual recitals of the Joliet Area Music Teachers Association (JAMTA), and performances at Guild (American College of Musicians/National Guild of Piano Teachers) .

Josh and Jonathan at PianoFest
reviewing Guild results with Beth


Recital performers

Lessons in piano incorporate performance, technique, and theory. Students work on ear training and note reading in addition to studying piano literature from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras. Technique is used as a problem solving tool … when a passage is difficult to learn we immediately examine technique issues to find ways to play more musically and develop speed. Ms. Johansen-Werner continues her professional development by studying Taubman technique with Dr. Teresa Dybvig of Long Island, New York.

examining a score
working on hand shape and position