Ms. Susan J. Fischer has been an active composer and established piano and theory teacher in New York and Canada for over 30 years. Several of her choral and chamber pieces have been commissioned for various theatrical or concert programs in the United States and Canada. In 1997, Ms. Fischer completed her Masters in Composition and Musicology at New York University, Steinhardt School of Music and Performing Arts Professions, where she studied with renowned American composer Dr. Justin Dello Joio.
Originally from London, Canada, Ms. Fischer holds an Associate of Music (A.Mus.) diploma, certifying her to teach music in conjunction with the Royal Conservatory of Music and Conservatory Canada. This involves preparing students for all conservatory levels of piano practical, theoretical and music history examinations. While completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario in London Canada, Ms. Fischer studied piano performance and literature with Dr. Damjana Bratuz. Ms. Fischer began writing music seriously during her graduate studies in 20th century composition at Concordia University in Montreal with Kevin Austin and further study brought her to Ithaca College, New York, where she did graduate work in music education.
Teaching, Composing, Chamber Music & Recitals
2018 – London, Canada
Ms. Fischer resides, composes and teaches music at her Fischer Music Studio in the Wortley Village area of London, Canada. Susan also performs with chamber ensembles, accompanies for the Kiwanis Music Festival and enjoys singing with the Karen Schuessler Singers (www.kssingers.com).
Opening up the world of music to young people is a passion for Susan. Piano students of all ages and levels are given a well rounded musical education including ear training, rhythmic clapping & technical exercises which develop skills that are practical and fun. Students are introduced to various genres of music from the classical, popular, jazz and Broadway repertoire. Motivated students are prepared for Royal Conservatory of Music or Conservatory Canada piano and theory examinations, are encouraged to participate in the Kiwanis Music Festival and all are given the opportunity for performance at Ms. Fischer’s Piano Recitals.
In addition to teaching young people, Susan also enjoys teaching adults, whether as beginners or those who are seeking to pick it up again after many years! Practicing any musical instrument is healthy and rewarding! It nourishes brain development, sharpens memory, maintains flexibility and facilitates coordination among many other health benefits!
1993-2017 New York City
Private piano and theory instruction for all ages from beginner to advanced levels were taught in Ms. Fischer’s Manhattan Music Studio and in Brooklyn Heights, New York. Piano students were prepared for all levels of the NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) evaluations or entrance auditions to performing arts conservatories such as the Manhattan School of Music or the Juilliard School of Music.
Every year Ms. Fischer produced recitals for her piano students who performed with a high level of excellence in classical or popular genres and were encouraged to play in chamber ensembles, accompany dancers or play their own compositions. For over 20 years until 2017, Susan’s Piano and Chamber Music Recitals have been held annually at the beautiful Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn Heights, New York.
As a composer, Ms. Fischer is a member of the New York Composers Circle NYCC (www.newyorkcomposerscircle.org) through which several of her compositions have been performed at concerts for new music in New York City. Most recently, Ms. Fischer’s world premier of Twilight for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Vibraphone was performed at an NYCC concert at Saint Peter’s Citigroup Center in New York City on April 18th, 2017. On April 2nd, 2017, Ms. Fischer’s Intermezzo for Oboe, Violin, Cello and Piano was performed by the Poné Ensemble in New Paltz, New York. In 2016, Ms. Fischer’s string quartet Notturno was premiered at another NYCC Concert at the Citigroup Center in New York.
In the summer of 2015, Ms. Fischer’s Romanza for Violin, Cello and Piano was performed with choreography in Rome, Italy. This new music concert was produced by Università di Roma Tor Vergata, in collaboration with Conservatorio Santa Cecilia and the University of California (Irvine) in the USA. Earlier in March of 2015, Ms. Fischer’s song setting of a poem by renowned American poet J.D. McClatchy, What is Going, What is Coming for Mezzo-Soprano, Piano and SATB ensemble was premiered at an NYCC concert at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City.
In 2009, Susan’s setting for chorus of William Carlos Williams poetry in The Red Wheelbarrow Suite was performed at the Church of the Transfiguration, One East 29th Street, New York by Claudia Dumschat, conductor and music director. For the ‘Tonmeister’ New Music Concert at NYU, Ms. Fischer’s chamber piece Eurydice for nine instruments was performed and recorded at the Frederick Loewe Theatre. In 1998, Susan directed and collaborated on a production called Autumn Equinox Celebration involving original music for shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute),viola da gamba and piano, original choreography with lighting and the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, which was performed at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, New York.
National Academy of Music America, Inc.
In her dedication to music education, Ms. Fischer founded the National Academy of Music America (NAMA), a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering conservatory music education beyond borders while passing on and preserving America’s rich musical heritage for future generations.
Based on international music conservatory models such as the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) in Britain, Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada, the National Academy of Music America aims to establish an internationally recognized conservatory curriculum of study and evaluation which is accessible and affordable for music teachers and students everywhere.
As other conservatories promote the music of their national heritage, the NAMA Conservatory Syllabus Program features the music of America from all genres such as classical, jazz, popular, American songbook and Latin American, in addition to the traditional European classics, thereby passing on and preserving the rich heritage of America’s music for future generations.
- The National Academy of Music America’s (NAMA’s) core activity is the provision of graded music Evaluations and Certificates of Achievement culminating in the Associate of Music Diploma.
- NAMA Evaluations are to be accessible, accredited, & affordable, and will be available for registration online at our future website (www.nationalacademyofmusic.org).
- Convenient NAMA Evaluation Sites are being established at local Music Schools, Community Centers, Churches and Libraries.
- NAMA Evaluations are designed to motivate students at all levels and ages, providing realistic goals and tangible rewards for their achievements.
- NAMA offers a unique program featuring the music of America, as well as the traditional European classics in our repertoire lists, theory and history courses, thereby passing on and preserving America’s rich and diverse musical heritage for future generations.
- The NAMA Program is on par with international conservatory standards.
- NAMA offers Evaluations at graded levels of achievement by authorized examiners.
- NAMA offers certificates of achievement, soon to be recognized for school credit in the United States.
- The NAMA program offers an essential resource of graded repertoire found in popular music teaching materials, such as the Faber & Faber and Music for the Millions series.
- NAMA provides music schools and private teachers with a supportive, comprehensive approach for developing well rounded musicianship in their students.
- With the NAMA Program of study, students can progress at their own rate.
Program Direction & Administration
2012 – New York Composers Circle (NYCC) New York, NY
Composing Member & Secretary (www.newyorkcomposerscircle.org)
In addition to being a composing member, Ms. Fischer functioned as Secretary for the New York Composers Circle Steering Committee Meetings and Salons. Susan also often volunteered in the organization and preparation of the NYCC concert programs.
2009 – National Academy of Music America, Inc. (NAMA) New York, NY
Ms. Fischer founded the National Academy of Music America, Inc. in New York, NY as a 501c3 non-profit organization which includes formulating the vision, promoting the mission, researching and creating the NAMA Piano Syllabus, establishing a Board of Directors, conducting Board meetings, presenting financial and progress reports, attending non-profit development meetings and workshops, networking music schools and collaborating with music industry professionals, as well as developing the NAMA website, producing the pilot piano evaluations and certification for students.
2006 – Ouluska Pass Chamber Music Festival, Saranac Lake, New York
Ms. Fischer collaborated with the Ouluska Pass director Gregor Kitzis and staff to set up vocal and instrumental chamber music workshops, allowing amateur musicians of any level to rehearse and play with outstanding professional musicians/ coaches on violin, viola, cello, piano and voice in a week-long intensive program culminating in a series of concerts at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.
2001 – Appel Farm Arts & Music Center P.O. Box 888, Elmer, NJ 08318
Head of Piano and Theory/Composition
This involved assigning private piano instructors for students from ages 10 to 17 at various levels of ability, organizing a practice schedule and addressing any teacher/ student concerns. Private lessons were given daily in combination with a weekly piano master class focusing on performance practice techniques, performing works in progress, listening to recordings and discussing style. Theory classes concentrated on score reading, basic harmonic structures and rhythms, music appreciation of other cultures as well as rock and jazz theory with some emphasis on improvisation and original composition for performance purposes.
Music Director for You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.
As music director, Susan rehearsed cast members privately and in groups for on score reading, basic harmonic structures and rhythms, music appreciation of other cultures as well as rock and jazz theory with some emphasis on improvisation and original composition for performance purposes. Music Director for You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. As music director, Susan rehearsed cast members privately and in groups for vocal projection, articulation and interpretation of the musical text as well as conducting the cast in ensemble pieces with accompaniment.
Collaborated with the Dance Department
Ms. Fischer collaborated with the dance department Director to create a performance art piece with music from Susan J Fischer’s composition Eurydice for nine instruments, including original choreography and slides of original art work.
Accompanist and Coach for various vocal and instrumental ensemble groups for weekly performance.
1998 – Autumn Equinox Celebration, St. Mark’s Church, New York, NY
Ms. Fischer directed and collaborated on a production called Autumn Equinox Celebration, involving original music for shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute), viola da gamba and piano, original choreography with lighting and the reading of poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke, performed on September 21, 1998.