Geena has been shaping the next generation of young pianists through teaching private lessons for over two decades. Geena's teaching philosophy is to help each student develop a personal and positive connection to the piano. She believes that learning piano is not only about playing the correct notes at the indicated tempo. In fact, she discourages her students from practicing mindlessly, but instead emphasizes the importance of looking beyond the printed notes. She believes that understanding harmony, structure, historical background, and the musical intent of the composer are just as important as physical training. Communicating musically with the audience and applying imagination within the structure of the piece are skills that allow a good student to achieve excellence.
Her students have won top prizes in national and international competitions, including Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition, Pelican International Music Competition, South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, Gene Marcus Piano Competition, Fischoff Chamber Music Competition Geoffroy Prize, and Stickley Piano Competition. Her students also frequently place highly in the Achievement in Music (AIM) and Middle School and High School Regional Solo and Ensemble Festival.
Geena's collegiate teaching began while she was a doctoral student at the University of Iowa. As a graduate assistant, she taught group piano classes at the University and taught applied lessons at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, IA. Since moving to South Bend in 2011, she has held teaching positions at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University South Bend, and Saint Mary's College. She has taught a variety of classes including music appreciation, music theory, aural skills, group piano classes, and applied piano lessons.
Geena is passionate about showing young students that learning music is an enjoyable and inspiring process. That is why she is eager to create events for students in which they can perform and learn together in a supportive and friendly atmosphere. Her recent projects have been focused on creating positive and encouraging experiences for young pianists including the Sonata Sonatina Festival, Baroque Festival, and the Chopin Piano Competition.