Holly Kessis (M.M.) is a teaching artist in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. She currently maintains a budding studio of 35 piano students at the Centre for Musical Minds in Frisco, Texas, where she also leads performance classes, beginner music camps, and other group enrichment courses. As a freelance musician, she collaborates with local dance studios and worship centers, and she accompanies student instrumentalists throughout the year in the Frisco and Plano Independent School Districts.
She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree in Piano Performance from the Ohio State University School of Music, where she studied with Steven Glaser, a student of the late Nadia Reisenberg. Highlights of her undergraduate career include performing the Poulenc Two-Piano Concerto with the OSU Symphony Orchestra as a winner of their concerto competition, as well as receiving the 2013 Undergraduate Achievement Award in Keyboard Studies. She holds a Master of Music (M.M.) degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Ohio University, where she studied with Dr. Christopher Fisher and Gail Berenson. She completed group practicum studies under Katherine Fisher, co-creator of the Piano Safari piano method. In her first year of graduate studies, she was awarded an honorable mention in the OU School of Music concerto competition for her performance of the Liszt Piano Concerto in E-Flat Major.
Ms. Kessis has performed nationally and internationally, in such cities as New York, Prague, and Eisenstadt, Austria at the Esterhazy Palace. She has played in master classes for renowned pianists and teachers such as Elisabeth Pridonoff, Nina Tichman, Jane Magrath, Alan and Alvin Chow, and Steven Beus. Locally, she continues to advocate for artistic community outreach--she was featured as a guest pianist in a promotional video for the Dublin Arts Council’s project “Playing Through," where a brightly painted piano was placed in public areas around her hometown of Columbus, Ohio for passersby to play.
She is working towards a teaching certification (NCTM) through the Music Teachers National Association, of which she is an active member. She serves as a guest judge throughout the year for student events held by local chapters of the Texas Music Teachers Association. As a budding music presenter, her current areas of pedagogical research involve music teachers of the millennial generation, as well as the arranging and teaching of video game music. She will present an accelerated learning talk at the MTNA national conference in Spokane, Washington in 2019; her topic is The Millennial Music Teacher: What Sets Young Professionals Apart and What We Can Learn from Them.
Outside of her love for music, she loves art history, pop culture, and anything dog-related (her shepherd mix Wolfie is named after Mozart himself).