Patricia Heineman-Vernon

Patricia Heineman-Vernon was raised in Skokie and began teaching piano there in 1974 while obtaining her B. A. in music education (1977, magna cum laude) from Mundelein College.  In 1980, she began her training in the Suzuki method and has maintained a piano studio in Skokie through to the present day.  Dr. Shinichi Suzuki’s belief that if a child’s home environment is filled with music, they can learn music as easily as they learn their parent’s language was how Patricia succeeded in music.  She was raised in a Suzuki environment, beginning piano at age 6 and cello at age 10. Her father, a professional trombonist, guided her practice and exposed her to classical music. This, combined with her study of the Suzuki philosophy, convinced her to choose the Suzuki method as her preferred way to begin young children at the piano.

Her extensive Suzuki training has been with many Suzuki piano pioneers, including Dr. Haruko Kataoka and Doris Koppelman.  She formerly served on the Suzuki faculty of the Wheaton College Suzuki Program, the Suzuki Music Academy of Chicago, the Jack Benny Center for the Performing Arts,  and Mundelein College.

From first-hand experience teaching toddlers in a rhythm class at Wheaton college, she saw the beneficial results of early childhood exposure to music and movement.  She became a licensed Kindermusik® teacher in 1993 and has been recognized for many years as a Kindermusik Maestro for enriching the lives of large numbers of families in the northern metropolitan area of Chicago.

In 1993, she founded the Center for Musical Development in Skokie which offered Kindermusik for children, ages 0 – 7, Suzuki piano lessons beginning at age 4 ½ and the Skokie Children’s Choir.  In 2008, she accepted the position as Coordinator of Kindermusik  for the Music Academy of Northwestern University. There, she mentors teachers and teaches Kindermusik and pre-piano.

She maintains a private piano studio ( in Skokie where she teaches Suzuki early childhood classes and Suzuki piano lessons for ages 4 ½ and up and also accepts adult and older beginners as well as transfer students from both traditional and Suzuki method.  With older beginners, she uses a more traditional approach.

She is an active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Chicago Area Music Teachers Association and the North Shore Music Teachers Association.  She serves as an adjudicator for the National Piano Guild, local contests and Illinois Achievement in Music Exams.

Her love and passion for teaching music has been greatly enhanced by being a Suzuki parent to her two now adult children.  She knows from first hand experience what it takes to motivate children to practice on a daily basis and openly shares the experiences (both positive and  negative) she had practicing with her own children with the parents in her studio to support and encourage them in working with their own children. 

She hopes that her love of children and music and passion for excellence in teaching is evident when you hear her students play.   You are invited to set up an appointment to observe a lesson and meet with her as you search for a piano teacher.