Bio & CV


I moved to Rochester in 2002 to study at the Eastman School of Music after completing my undergraduate degrees from the University at Buffalo. I hold two Master of Arts degrees from ESM in Music Theory Pedagogy ('04) and Music Education (’14) as well as a New York Teaching Certification for grades K-12. The culmination of my experience as pianist, church musician, and college professor has led to a unique pedagogical style. I remain active in the Rochester community teaching, directing, and performing music and reside happily in Brighton with my wife, Tiffany, and two children, Logan and Kathryn.



Eastman School of Music — Rochester, NY
—Master of Arts in Music Education: Vocal Music Emphasis — Awarded 2014
—Master of Arts in Music Theory Pedagogy — Awarded 2006

State University of New York at Buffalo — Buffalo, NY
—Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance — Awarded 2001
—Bachelor of Arts in Music — Awarded 2001


Private Piano Instruction

Laird Music Studio — Brighton, NY
Self-employed Private Piano Instructor — 2002- present

  • Schedule and teach individual lessons, group lessons and recitals for a base of 40 students.
  • Utilize an original comprehensive piano curriculum emphasizing building musicianship skills—strongly influenced by the methods of Dalcroze, Gordon (MLT), Orff-Scheulwerk, Kodály, and Suzuki. Students learn to read, write, improvise, and compose music in addition to learning and performing solo piano repertoire.
  • Self-published supporting teaching materials (instructional videos, sound-files, arrangements, and compositions) distributed on website.


Performance & Composition

Freelance Musician — Rochester, NY
Keyboardist, vocalist — 2012- present

  • Actively perform solo work in Rochester area—weddings, funerals, cocktail piano
    • Sakura Home Restaurant — Friday/Saturday evenings 6-9pm
    • Available for hire email — music at robertlaird dot net
  • Perform collaboratively with various acts including Significant Other

Diocese of Rochester — Rochester, NY
Substitute Church Musician — 2012- present

  • Lead service music—piano/organ as needed

MennoMedia — Harrisonburg, VA
Composer — 2014-2015

  • Shine (Early Childhood) Music CD — Hosanna, I Know My Sheep, & You All Are Invited


Music Instruction

St. Lawrence Catholic School — Greece, NY 
Music Teacher — 2016-present

  • Elementary Band, Vocal & General Music teaching

State University of New York College of Brockport — Brockport, NY 
Adjunct Professor of Music — 2013-2015

  • Introduction To Music — Employed a self-designed curriculum introducing music concepts in a hands-on, active approach through  learning to play a variety of piano and ukulele repertoire. Ran as an hybrid online course — and implemented coinciding course websites as means of distributing course materials.
  • Class Piano II — Utilized self-designed curriculum including analyzing, arranging (pop music), and composing music in addition to learning and performing standard classical piano repertoire.

Eastman School of Music — Rochester, NY 
Teaching Assistant in Music Theory — 2002-2004 & 2010-2012

  • Aural Musicianship I & II — Fully responsible for students in a two-year course sequence for aural musicianship in tonal music – sight singing, rhythmic reading, melodic and harmonic dictation, tonal improvisation, keyboard skills. 
  • Designed and implemented coinciding course websites as means of distributing course materials.


Secondary & Elementary Music Teaching & Student Outcomes

Spencerport High School — Spencerport, NY
Student Teaching — Concert Choir & Music Theory — Spring, 2012

  • Participated in a well-established, highly efficient, high school vocal music program led by cooperating teacher, Alan Jones. 
  • Responsible for accompanying a large quantity of advanced vocal solo and choral repertoire (NYSSMA level 4-6). 
  • Devised, designed, and executed full and sectional choral warm-ups and rehearsal strategies for, Agnus Dei, Samuel Barber’s arrangement of his Adagio for Strings. Conducted Agnus Dei during their June 2012 concert. 
  • Led individual voice coaching, preparing students for the NYSSMA Solo Festival and accompanied them at the Solo Festival. Regularly incorporated technology into classroom using a laptop, keynote presentations, website, and SmartBoard. Assessed in real-time using state-based assessment standards during vocal instruction. Observed and aided vocal jazz ensemble instruction. 
  • Accompanied and observed students on field trips to Nazareth College’s Choral Festival and LeMoyne College’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble with Kirby Shaw. Led General and Advanced Placement Music Theory, topics included voice leading, harmonic analysis, dictation, song writing, and guitar.

Neil Armstrong Elementary — School Gates, NY
Student Teaching — K-5 Vocal-General Music — Spring, 2012

  • With cooperating teacher, Adam Foley, taught K-5, using a fusion of Orff, Kodaly and MLT - establishing the foundations of music literacy through singing repertoire and melodic patterns, and building a kinesthetic awareness of rhythm patterns through movement.
  • Aided Dr. Foley with his dissertation, data collecting and scoring student research subjects. By week four, fully responsible for designing and implementing lesson plans for all grades. Utilized guitar, piano and recorder and integrated technology (laptop and SmartBoard) in instruction. 
  • Used a variety of instruments during instruction: recorder, guitar, piano, drums, Orff xylophones and metalophones, hand and body percussion. 
  • Returned in May and June to accompany students on piano and guitar at end-of-the-year concert.

Additional Fieldwork Teaching Experience — Spring & Fall 2011

  • Webster-Thomas High School — Webster, NY
  • Twelve Corners Middle School — Brighton, NY
  • Gates Middle School — Gates, NY
  • Calkins Road Middle School — Pittsford, NY
  • Willink Middle School — Webster, NY

    Observed, discussed, and strategized the elements of music pedagogy. Teaching assignments include designing, executing and reflecting on personal teaching performance. Course content emphasized teaching objectives, developmental psychology, choice of age-appropriate activities and/or vocal repertoire, clarity of instruction, classroom management and assessment.


Liturgical Music Positions

St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church — Pittsford, NY
Youth & Assistant Music Director — 2003-2015

  • Schedule music selections in correspondence with the Lutheran liturgical calendar. Arrange and compose music for a diverse group of individuals/instrumentation. Schedule and lead weekly rehearsals for Orff-Musik (preK thru 5) & Neue-Band (Grade 5+) while providing all-inclusive environment capitalizing on strengths, promoting musical growth. Accompany choir and/or soloists. Perform solo repertoire at piano, organ and harpsichord. Lead service music and hymnody. 

Christ Episcopal Church — Rochester, NY
Schola Cantorum – Tenor — 2010-2014

  • Performed weekly — The Office of Compline — on Sundays under Stephen Kennedy's October through April. This group specializes in music of the Baroque and Renaissance, and devotes time to new works it commissions, premieres and records by a growing list of composers (


Community Outreach and Volunteer Activities

  • Brighton Soccer League – Coach — 2010-2012, & 2016-present
  • Diabetes Association of America – Tour de Cure participant — 2010-2014, 2017 (anticipated)
  • RAIHN (Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network) – Volunteer — 2010-present
  • St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Vacation Bible School – Music Director — 2008-2016
  • Boy Scouts of America – Den Leader — 2010-2015

 Robert Laird © 2016