2018 Teacher of the Year - Kerry Carlin

Kerry Carlin studied at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music (BM), the Vienna Hochschule fur Musik, and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music (MM, DME). His piano teachers included Jorge Bolet, Gyorgy Sebok, Robert Goldsand, John Ogdon, and Marion Hall. He received the Certificate in Piano Pedagogy from The New School for Music Study in Princeton, NJ, where he studied under eminent piano pedagogues Frances Clark and Louise Goss, and Permanent Professional Certification from the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA).


As a researcher, Dr. Carlin has studied aspects of piano teacher effectiveness, piano teacher training, and trends in piano teaching. He has acted as presenter and panelist for the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, the Music Teachers National Association, MTNA state affiliates, and local piano teacher associations. Dr. Carlin has been a contributor to Keyboard Companion and has authored for the European Piano Teachers Association. He has performed solo and ensemble recitals in the US and Europe, including several years as pianist with the New England based Montage Trio.


Dr. Carlin taught at the New School for Music Study, Indiana University, Southeastern Massachusetts University (now the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth), and is currently Professor Emeritus at the East Carolina University School of Music in Greenville, NC, where he taught for 34 years and served as Director of the Piano Pedagogy Program, the Group Piano Program, the ECU Summer Keyboard Camp, the ECU Young Artist Competition for Precollege Pianists, and several years as Chair of the Keyboard Department. During his time at East Carolina University, Dr. Carlin taught every course that the Piano Division of the Keyboard Department had to offer.


Kerry Carlin was an extremely valuable, long-time member of NCMTA. His early service was as local NCMTA state conference chair at East Carolina University. He served in that valuable role many times. Starting with 12 years as President of the Greenville Piano Teachers Association, he also held many important positions on the State Board including chair of various competitions, Piano Teachers Chair, Vice President for both the MTNA Foundation and NCMTA membership, culminating in the NCMTA Presidency for 2015-2017.


Dr. Carlin’s teaching accomplishments and pedagogical influences were especially noteworthy. During his many years of teaching college piano, group piano, piano pedagogy and private piano, he developed the technical skills and enhanced the musical knowledge of over three thousand students. He takes special pride in the successful teaching careers of his former piano pedagogy students. They have founded local piano teacher associations, established their own independent piano teaching studios, obtained graduate degrees and head their own university piano pedagogy programs. His rich pedagogical legacy includes a former student who was a two-time winner of the MTNA Article of the Year Award.


His former student, Anna Beth Rucker, writes the following:

“As my principle teacher, Dr. Carlin was effortlessly able to see my needs and meet them precisely, see my weaknesses and address them gently, and see my strengths and expand them beautifully.”